2008 July

1st month of the 3rd quarter of the 19th year of the Bush-Clinton-Shrub economic depression

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updated: 2015-12-29

  "Chief executives would function more effectively if their compensation more closely reflected their value to the company.   In that way, they would have a significant incentive to make good decisions.   Fortunately, CEOs are starting to get the message from their boards of directors that they won't allow them to become rich as their organizations decline." --- Morris R. Shechtman 1994 _Working without a Net_ pg 81  

2008 July
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  "The ultimate authority... resides in the people alone." --- James Madison  




captain William Scott's flag for the Republic of Texas.

2008 July

1st month of the 3rd quarter of the 9th year of the Clinton-Bush economic depression


2008-07-01: 18 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

Dice Report: 86,988 job ads

body shop34,743
full-time temp61,550
part-time temp1,698

graph of job ads by OS and language
graph of job ads by perm vs. temp

2008-06-30 22:00PDT (2008-07-01 01:00EDT) (2008-07-01 05:00GMT)
William C. Miller _Stamford CT Advocate_
Protect US Jobs
"The U.S.A. must stop the hemorrhaging of jobs lost as plants close.   With 200K jobs lost in Pennsylvania and another 200K in Ohio, it is no wonder the Republicans were wiped out in both states in 2006.   Some remedies: Stop the out-sourcing of U.S. plants over-seas.   This has cost 3M good manufacturing jobs.   Our government has failed to protect American workers from the way foreign governments bribe U.S. companies to relocate, offering tax advantages and stealing our technology.   Stop the in-sourcing of foreigners.   This has cost many jobs, some to low-wage illegal aliens and to so-called guest-workers.   Many jobs were taken by skilled workers coming from Asia on H-1B student visas.   This deprives Americans of their high-tech jobs.   A big supply of cheap labor inevitably depresses wages.   The 12M illegals plus their families plus the guest-workers will burden our taxpayers for benefits estimated by the Heritage Foundation at a net cost of $22K per family per year.   Americans must be aware that President Bush supports open borders to secure the economic integration of the U.S.A. with Canada and Mexico.   Americans just don't want this.   To protect American jobs, we must punish employers that violate existing law by employing illegals.   With predictions of a 100M population increase by 2050, it is more imperative than ever that our leaders stand up on patriotic and economic issues."

Meghann Farnsworth _National Socialist Television_
Profile of Bob Barr

Mande Wilkes _FITS News_
Libertarian Party suing to get Bob Barr on the ballot in Ohio and Tennessee
Cincinnati Enquirer
"Both states have particularly strict [and politically biased] preconditions for appearing on their ballots.   An Ohio law, for example, mandates that candidates have to come up with a list of 20K supporter signatures.   Of course, this law only applies to candidates outside of the 2 major political parties -- those candidates for whom the requirement is especially onerous."
Ballot Access News

Austin Cassidy _Independent Political Review_
Libertarian Party Candidates

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
Nielsen got tax breaks to hire local workers in Oldsmar, FL, then out-sourced many jobs to Tata
"last October, Nielsen announced a 10-year out-sourcing agreement valued at $1.2G with Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai...   Under the original 2001 agreements, Nielsen has received some $3.1M in tax incentives for its Oldsmar facility, which includes $1.7M in breaks from the state and $1.4M from Oldsmar and Pinellas county.   The local incentives run to 2016 and will depend on how many high-paying jobs remain in place during each year of the agreement."
class action against Tata

2008-07-01 14:22:03PDT (17:22:03EDT) (21:22:03GMT)
_Earth Times_/_Reuters_
Starbucks to dump 12K employees, close 600 stores
New Zealand Herald

Amy Keller _Florida Trend_
Interview of Marion P. Hammer
"The Second Amendment is the means with which we protect freedom.   If you lose your rights under the Second Amendment, you lose freedom.   Before I was 6 years old, my granddaddy taught me how to shoot.   He'd go hunting in the afternoons, and I'd want to go with him, but he wouldn't let me go because I hadn't been taught.   And so I changed from saying, 'Let me go' to, 'Teach me.'   When I started asking to be taught, then he taught me, and then I was allowed to go...   A lot of people view being attacked by your opponents or the media as being a negative.   I view it as an opportunity to get my side out there."

2008-07-01 (5768 Sivan 28)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
High-Stakes Courts


Norm Matloff _H-1b/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Information Week bloggers don't quite get it
Two blogs are enclosed here, by Alexander Wolfe and Paul McDougall of InformationWeek, both with "new" solutions to the problems with the H-1B work visa.   Neither proposal is new, of course, and there are some mischaracterizations and over-simplifications of the problems, as well as various minor inaccuracies.   Nevertheless, "it's the thought that counts"... except that one of those thoughts is an egregious insult to critics of the H-1B program.
The Wolfe/McDougall point/counter-point can be summarized as this:
Wolfe: H-1Bs are hired as cheap labor.   So, if the prevailing wage requirement in H-1B law were really enforced, only the legitimate employers would hire H-1Bs and the yearly H-1B cap [could be eliminated].
McDougall: No, cheap labor is not really an issue, as it's really hard to hire H-1Bs at below-market wages.   Instead, the real problem is that H-1Bs are tied to their employers, which is of huge appeal to employers.   So if we give the H-1Bs freedom to move freely in the market-place [and made them permanent visas], only the legitimate employers would hire H-1Bs and the yearly H-1B cap [could be eliminated as irrelevant].

Wolfe has the right idea -- make the employers pay market wage and the current H-1B cap would be quite ample for the few employers who would still want to hire H-1Bs -- but he errs in assuming the under-payment of H-1Bs is due to lack of enforcement of the law; it isn't.   The real problem is the gaping LOOP-HOLES in the law, which enable employers to UNDER-PAY H-1BS WHILE COMPLYING FULLY WITH THE LAW.   See http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/PrevWage.pdf for details
So, to remove the cheap-labor incentive that Wolfe correctly points out is driving the current high demand for the program, the law itself must be changed, rather than beefing up enforcement.   The sad truth is that the law is so riddled with loopholes that there is really nothing to enforce.   There is a provision that would plug these loop-holes in the Durbin/Grassley bill currently in the Senate, but of course the bill has just been languishing, due to industry lobbyist pressure.
McDougall thinks that current safeguards make it very difficult to under-pay H-1Bs.   That's just plain false, as shown by several university studies and -- even more importantly, in my view -- by 2 congressionally commissioned employer surveys.   Yes, you read correctly -- employer surveys, in which bosses actually admitted to under-paying the H-1Bs.   Imagine how many more were doing the same thing but had the sense NOT to admit it.   The GAO survey found that
Some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage.

If you just skimmed through that quote, read it again.   The first part says that employers had admitted to paying H-1Bs less than U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and the second part says that the employers did this in full compliance with the law.   The problem is loopholes in the law, not lack of enforcement of the law.   Again, see the details at the above URL.
But McDougall is spot on in his point that employers love the de facto indentured servitude of the H-1Bs.   (They do have some freedom of movement, but those who are being sponsored for green cards are basically stuck.)   Indeed, immigration attorneys have publicly admitted that employers love the, ahem, "loyalty", of the H-1Bs.   See my Michigan Journal of Law Reform article (pdf) for details.
Unfortunately, merely giving H-1Bs full freedom of movement in the labor market would not solve the cheap-labor problem.   That's because cheap labor comes in 2 forms:
(a) Type I, in which the employer pays the H-1B less than he would pay to Americans of the same experience, education and so on, and
(b) Type II, in which the employer hires young H-1Bs instead of older (i.e. over age 35 or 40) Americans.   Giving H-1Bs unfettered access to the market-place would solve (a) but not (b).   And (b) is big, often enabling employers savings of 50% or more.
Now, what about that insult I mentioned?   Here it is, in Wolfe's blog:
As a colleague of mine e-mailed me: "Actually, a lot of people don't know there's a wage requirement, it's something the anti-H-1B people don't talk about because it under-cuts their argument."

Apparently if you're a journalist with a major magazine, you can say anything without evidence, even if your claim is shown false by articles in your own magazine.   The "colleague's" claim here is absurd.
Take for example the Programmers Guild, the organization most quoted (including by InformationWeek) regarding problems with H-1B.   Go to their web page, and plug "prevailing wage" (the legal term for the wage requirement) into their search engine.   You'll find that prevailing wage is discussed throughout their site.   Most importantly, look at their section titled "How to Under-Pay an H-1B", an excellent case study of how employers exploit loop-holes in the prevailing wage law.   Indeed, check InformationWeek's article of 2006 July 13, in which reporter Marianne McGee goes into detail on the Programmers Guild's criticism of the loop-holes in the prevailing wage law.   Clearly, the colleague is way off base in claiming the "anti-H-1B people" don't want the public to know about the wage requirement.   Again, remember that the problem is that the wage requirement is full of loop-holes, not that it doesn't exist.
The other major professional organization criticizing H-1B is IEEE-USA.   Again, you can find information about the prevailing wage requirement throughout their web page, prominently featured in their arguments.   I'm sure the major general immigration reform organizations, FAIR and NumbersUSA, get it right too; I've never seen them claim that there is no wage requirement.
Granted, the colleague's remark was made privately to Wolfe (who then publicized it).   But that makes it all the more insidious, as it makes one wonder just how many other journalists are engaging in such whispering campaigns against H-1B critics.   InformationWeek ought to be ashamed of itself, and owes the Programmers Guild et al. an apology.
As to the George Will column mentioned by Wolfe, Will blew it big time, apparently relying on one of the industry lobbyists' slick "educational packages" rather than doing his home-work.   See my critique.
Alexander Wolfe
Paul McDougall

2008-07-02 04:31PDT (07:31EDT) (11:31GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CGC: Lay-off plans up 21% for 1st half of year
Timothy R. Homan: Bloomberg
Chris Isidore: CNN/Money
Diane Stafford: Kansas City Star
Rodrigo Campos: Reuters
Liz Wolgemuth: US News & World Report: Lousy job numbers might be OK
composite: "Announced lay-offs totaled 81,755 in 2008 June, up 46.7% from the 55,726 in 2007 June, but down from the 103,522 of 2008 May. For 2008Q2, lay-offs rose to 275,292, an average of 91,764 per month, the most since late 2005. For the first half, announced job cuts have risen to 475,948, compared with 393,499 in the first 6 months of 2007. Planned cuts in the automotive sector fell by 27,655 compared to the previous month's increase of 23,105, while cuts to the food sector declined 1,154 after falling 949 in May. Cuts to the energy sector fell 1,147 compared to the increase of 8,564 in May. Cuts in the construction sector declined by 374, after falling 378 in the previous month while planned cuts to the financial sector increased by 3,021 compared to the previous month's 6,900 decline. Financial companies announced 19,227 lay-offs in June, bringing the total for 2008 to 85,258, 91% of which are related to the collapse of the mortgage market, Challenger said. Government had plans to eliminate 10,797, and telecommunications 10,342. Job cuts in the computer industry rose 115% in Q1, transportation cuts rose 118%, and telecommunication cuts rose 191%. Automotive industry job cuts have tripled since the end of the first quarter, Challenger said."

Andrea Koncz & Patti Giordani _NACE_
7.1% in increase in average starting salary offers in 2008 Summer
"accounting graduates received a 2.9% increase to their average offer, raising it to $48,085...   Business administration/management grads fared well, posting a 5.1% increase for an average offer of $45,915.   Economics majors saw a healthy increase of 4.2%, for an average offer of $50,507.   Finance grads' average offer of $48,547 was a 2.8 increase over last year, and the average offer to marketing graduates rose 4.7% to $42,053.   Salary offers to computer science graduates rocketed up 13.1% over last year to an average of $60,416.   Conversely, information sciences and systems graduates saw a modest 3.1% increase, bringing their average offer to $52,418.   The average offer to chemical engineering graduates rose 6.4% to $63,165...   Mechanical engineering grads received a healthy 5.3% increase, boosting their average offer to $57,009.   The offer to electrical engineering graduates rose a modest 2.9%, bringing their offer to $56,910."

Peter S. Goodman _NY Times_
Deepening cycle of job loss seen lasting in to 2009 (with graphs)

2008-07-02 10:09PDT (13:09EDT) (17:09GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Henry Paulson: Firms whose executives make bad decisions have to be allowed to fail
"'For market discipline to constrain risk effectively, financial institutions must be allowed to fail.', Paulson said in excerpts of a speech he will deliver in London.   'It is clear that some institutions, if they fail, can have a systemic impact, so we must give regulators the authorities to limit that impact and facilitate an orderly failure.', Paulson said...   'I do not believe that we can eliminate, by regulation or otherwise, all future bouts of market instability -- they are difficult to predict and past history may be a poor predictor of the future.   However, just because the overall task is difficult, we should not stop trying to understand and mitigate instability.', Paulson said."

2008-07-02 15:32PDT (18:32EDT) (22:32GMT)
John Pallatto _eWeek_
Data on Google employees taken from pay-roll processing out-sourcer
Ziff Davis
"Valleywag reported July 2 on its web site that Google employees hired before 2005 Dec. 31, received notices that their personal data, including [Socialist Insecurity Numbers (SINs)] and birth dates had been compromised by a break-in at Colt Express Out-Sourcing Services, a pay-roll and human resources company.   The Valleywag report says the break-in occurred at Colt Express on May 26 and Google informed employees on June 9 about the breach.   As a result, employees are getting a free year of identity theft protection...   The likely reason for the Colt Express site being down is that Ceridian, the giant pay-roll processing and human resources company that serves more than 25M employees, announced in early 2008 February that it had acquired 'certain assets' from Colt Express.   Ceridian's benefits services division is now providing services to Colt's clients."

2008-07-02 (5768 Sivan 29)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
Appeasers Make Poor Patriots

2008-07-02 (5768 Sivan 29)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Does patriotism matter?

2008-07-02 (5768 Sivan 29)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
The Ultimate Resource: I'm a happy sardine
Capitalism Magazine
Dallas Morning News
Town Hall
Creators Syndicate
Denton Record-Chronicle
Voice of the Times
Wicked Local/Illinois State Journal-Register


2008-07-02 23:58PDT (02:58EDT) (06:58GMT)
"antoni" _Swing State Project_
Top 10 House primaries with no incumbent running
"Alabama 2nd -- Jay Love vs. Harri Ann Smith.   Colorado 2nd -- Fitz-Gerald vs. Polis..."

2008-07-03 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 368,876 in the week ending June 28, an increase of 10,503 from the previous week.   There were 300,348 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending June 21, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,860,521, an increase of 7,792 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.8% and the volume was 2,353,893.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending June 14."

Francine Knowles _Chicago Sun-Times_
Best cities to build wealth
"Plano, TX, was ranked as the best city to build personal wealth, followed by Aurora, CO; Omaha, Minneapolis and Albuquerque, NM.   The worst city was New York, followed by Washington, DC; Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Francisco.   The index looked at local salaries, the cost of living and unemployment rates from cities with 250,000 or more residents.   It also took into account diversity of industry, education levels and other factors."

2008-07-03 07:41PDT (10:41EDT) (14:41GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted, pay-rolls fell by 62K

2008-07-03 08:35PDT (11:35EDT) (15:35GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
http://www.h1b.info/ 'Computer Software Engineer 1, $52K/year, 2005/10/01, Oldsmar, FL'.   There are others just over $52K.   Of course some are under that number, but it would still qualify Nielsen for the lower tier tax rebate."
2007-03-05: Nielsen named Mitchell Habib executive vice president for global business services
2004-01-06: Oldsmar city council minutes (pdf)
Approve Nielsen Media Research job creation incentive grant agreement -- Haddock stated the City adopted Resolution 2002-08 on 2002 March 13, creating this program.   The grant pays $500 per new job created that pays at least 150% of the average Pinellas County wage, and $1K per new job created that pays at least 200% of the average Pinellas County wage.   The maximum value of the grant cannot exceed 50% of the net new real estate taxes paid annually to the City."
2008-03-15: Oldsmar city council minutes (pdf)
"Vale stated that when they were awarded this money, it was to provide decent paying jobs to U.S. citizens.   They are now bringing in foreign workers and Oldsmar residents are being laid off.   Rublee stated that if what has been reported turns out to be true, Nielsen has abdicated their responsibility as a corporate citizen.   The human factor does matter.   Miller stated she has been told that Nielsen is very proud of the fact they received the money again this year by adding their contract workers in to bring the numbers up.   She was told they will be getting rid of an additional 200-400 jobs and bringing in workers from India at $28.50 per hour, flat rate.   Miller quoted the following governmental contributions: City of Oldsmar $554K; Pinellas County $700K; State of Florida $1.8M.   Seidel suggested the Council invite a Nielsen representative to come and speak."

2008-07-03 10:38PDT (13:38EDT) (17:38GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Where Philadelphia wants to go says a lot about the USA's economy

Mike Stark _Bloomington Pantagraph_/_AP_
Utah government is going to 4-day work-week in attempt to lower energy bills and employees' transportation costs
Lexington Herald-Leader
Canton Repository
Tampa Tribune
Chippewa Herald
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The order issued by Republican governor Jon Huntsman will affect about 17K out of 24K executive-branch employees.   It will not cover state police officers, prison guards or employees of the courts or Utah’s public universities."

Douglas J. Feith _Wall Street Journal_
Some Reasons Why We Went to War in Iraq

Scott Unger _Kentucky State Journal_
Kentucky State University has offered 4-day work-week to non-faculty employees
"Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Greyson recently implemented a similar program for employees in his office.   Greyson spokesman Les Fugate said the 4-day work-week has been a success."

Ramesh Manghirmalani _MeriNews_
Impact of out-sourcing
"US businesses dominate the global share of oing, accounting for some 70% of the total market.   Europe and Japan account for the remainder of the market, with the United Kingdom (UK) as a dominant player.   Both the US and the UK have liberal employment and labour laws that allow companies greater flexibility in reassigning tasks and eliminating jobs.   This flexibility is essential to capture out-sourcing opportunities effectively."

Michael Stebbins _Science Progress_
Voters care about science
"86% of those polled, for example, say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who is committed to preparing students with the skills they need for the 21st Century through public investments in science and technology education.   Similarly, 84% said they would be more likely to support a candidate who is committed to reducing the cost and improving the quality of health care through public investments in science and technology.   And 52% indicated they would be much more likely to support candidates who expressed that science and technology is a priority for them."

_Belfast Telegraph_
Recession in Ireland expected to cause jump in illegal immigration to USA
"The ESRI predicts that Ireland's current economic contraction will trigger the Republic's first recession in 25 years, and send upwards of 20K abroad next year in search of work.   Like generations of earlier emigrants, many of these migrants will head for Irish enclaves in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.   However, instead of a land of plenty, new Irish immigrants will find a country teetering on the brink of recession that has become increasingly hostile to illegal immigrants from all colours, creeds and countries...   the estimated 50K Irish already among an estimated [12M to 20M] illegal immigrants now in America.   However, Ciaran Staunton, of the New York-based Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR), said that, many new immigrants should at least be able to find work for the time being. 'People who came in the 1980s couldn't come in [illegally] and get work, Staunton told the Belfast Telegraph: 'The people who come today can come [in illegally] and get work.   Once people get into the country, there's plenty of work, from what we've seen anyway.'...   [In the 1980s] annual Irish emigration rates topped 100K...   Brendan Magee of the Chicago Irish Immigrant Support... 'There is quite a significant number of young Irish professionals that would be here on the H-1B visas (which favours the likes of architects, engineers, academics, etc).'...   Bernadette Cashman, of Irish Outreach San Diego... 'It's a different outlook here [in San Diego] because you cannot hide as you can in other parts of the country, because we're under the microscope, if you will.', she said."

James Fulford _V Dare_
Independence Day: "Pomp, Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, And Illuminations" But Not Immigration
"John Adams, discussing the vote that had just been taken by the Continental Congress in favor of independence, said that it 'will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.   It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.'"

2008-07-03 (5768 Sivan 30)
Jeff Jacoby _Jewish World Review_
Israel is still paying for its defeat
"On 2006 July 12, Hezbollah, an Iranian-sponsored and Syrian-backed political and terrorist organization, staged an unprovoked raid across the Lebanon-Israel border, killing three Israelis and kidnapping two others, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.   The war that ensued -- a war for which Hezbollah had openly prepared for 6 years, constructing fortified bunkers and amassing thousands of Katyusha artillery rockets along the border -- was a disaster for Israel.   The fighting lasted for 33 bloody days, during which Israel achieved none of its key objectives: It didn't destroy Hezbollah, it didn't stop the barrage of rockets slamming into its northern cities, and it didn't rescue its kidnapped soldiers.   Never before had Israel's deterrent capability and its reputation for military indomitability suffered such a blow...   Far from preventing the flow of new weapons to Hezbollah, the UN peace-keepers have routinely looked the other way as Iran has massively re-supplied its Lebanese proxy.   Hezbollah is now far better armed than it was in 2006 July, with an estimated 40K rockets deployed north of the border, and the ability to strike 97% of Israel's population.   Israeli military intelligence reports that some 2,500 Hezbollah terrorists are in southern Lebanon, and have built a series of elaborate under-ground bunkers equipped with rocket launchers and mortar guns that can be fired by remote control.   Most alarming of all is Hezbollah's effective take-over of Lebanon's government, which it intimidated into submission through violent rampages in Beirut in May.   Hezbollah extorted the right to name 11 cabinet ministers, giving it veto power over every government decision.   Which means that Hezbollah is no longer a state-sponsored terrorist organization.   Now it is something far more dangerous: a terrorist organization with a state of its own."

S&P 5001,262.90
10-year US T-Bond3.97%
crude oil$145.29/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).

2008-07-04: Independence Day

US History
Jimbo Wales's Wikipedia
US National Archives
text of declaration from National Archives site
History Channel mini-series
Oklahoma University College of Law
Yale Law School
National Unconstitutional Endowment for Humanities
Solar Navigator
declaration as printed in John Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet 1776-07-08 from Early America
Library of Congress
fragment of Dunlap broadside printing of the declaration from the Library of Congress

Bill Cameron
Statue of Adam Smith unveiled in Edinburgh, Scotland
Tom C. Harris & Gavin Kennedy
Living Philosophy: Adam Smith -- Making Poverty History

Beryl Lieff Benderly _Science_
Taken for Granted: By the Numbers
"the crucial importance to the progress of science of providing support both for young faculty at the start of their independent careers and for risky research with transformative potential...   the rising age of first-time grant winners and of grant winners generally and the sharp increase in soft-money faculty positions.   Also as in previous reports, it devotes almost no attention to the great majority of young scientists who will never get the chance to compete for independent funding because they can't find faculty jobs...   accurate information about young scientists is crucial... "
Advancing Research in Science and Engineering (ARISE) (pdf)

Tim Kelly _Forbes_
Executives in Japan pulling the same fraudulent "shortage" scams as in the USA
"The Japan Council of Metalworkers' Unions, an umbrella group that represents labor unions with more than 2M members, many employed at auto plants, is demanding that the government tighten regulations on employing workers with trainee visas.   It wants a 5% limit on foreign trainees at companies, more checks to ferret out offenders and stiffer fines on factory owners who break the rules.   'Before resorting to foreigners we want employers to tap older workers and women.', argues Kan Matsuzaki, an official at the group.   To protect wage levels his organization also wants foreign workers to be paid on par with their Japanese counterparts.   Foreign workers typically earn $12 an hour.   The country's average wage is more than $20...   People who can claim one Japanese great-grand-parent qualify for a visa, so there is very little about them that's Japanese, she notes.   Another immigrant group, the Chinese (the biggest source of foreign-born labor in Japan), are passed off as trainees, shipped to Japan for three years to hone engineering skills that they can take home.   Together the 2 groups add up to half a million bodies."

Mark Cromer _Washington Times_
Schools, teachers up-rooting American heritage

John Kusumi _Nolan Chart_
Happty BirthDay, America!

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Fragomen has attacked David Huber
Recall that the Dept. of Labor recently announced an audit of the Fragomen law firm, the largest [immigration law firm] in the U.S.A., alleging that Fragomen's attorneys got improperly involved in clients' hiring, supposedly trying to talk the clients out of hiring qualified American applicants [by telling them to contact the law firm for assistance in declaring all American applicants "disqualified" when it appeared the American applicants were as well or better qualified than the person they wanted to upgrade from an H-1B to a green card].   My take on it was that while Fragomen was probably within the law, the case illustrates how use of loop-holes to avoid hiring Americans in favor of foreign workers being sponsored for green cards is standard operating procedure, including for America's biggest firms and most prominent immigration attorneys.   See my previous postings on this at
Fragomen 1
Fragomen 2
As mentioned in these posts, the Lou Dobbs show, as well as an earlier San Francisco TV news report, featured David Huber, who believes that he observed Fragomen's misdeeds in action, with himself as victim.   Fragomen's PR firm now is going after Huber, as seen in the enclosure below.
The Fragomen statement is not much of a denial, even though it's written to sound like one.   It consists mainly of denying "accusations" that to my knowledge haven't been made in the first place.
To me, the most interesting passage, though, is Fragomen's [false] characterization of Huber as a "committed opponent of immigration".   I know Dave Huber, but I don't recall him expressing any opinions on immigration in general, other than H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.   And of course, the implication is also that anyone who in fact does wish to reduce immigration overall is a Bad Person.
The further hint there is that Huber's opposition to the foreign worker programs stems not from their adverse impact on his ability to make a living, but rather because he is simply xenophobic.   The industry lobbyists have long made such statements, which basically claim that people like Huber would be perfectly happy if a white Canadian took away his job, but would be outraged if he lost his job to someone from India.   Only someone whose job has never been in jeopardy could believe such an absurd claim.
Happy 4th, everyone.

_Hindu Business Line_
NASSCOM wants more government help: IT grads are inadequately-educated
"The top five players in the IT industry could together save between $450M and $500M a year if the effort that they put into retraining fresh recruits can start from the college level (from which recruits graduate), according to Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM, the industry's apex body.   Speaking to Business Line at its annual Human Resource Summit, Mittal said, 'No other industry has had to do so much for itself.', such as retraining fresh employees soon after they graduate, providing transport for employees, captive power generation and the like.   'We would obviously increase the gap with our competitors should our Governments take care of these requirements.', he said...   For the short-term, he said that we still needed to increase the 'yield' of employable graduates in the country.   In the context of the US slow-down, NASSCOM said last month that the Indian IT and ITeS industry would grow between 22% and 24% in the current fiscal instead of the usual 28%-29%."

Jim Auchmutey _Atlanta Journal-Constitution_
Atlanta's Millennium Gate opened with a flourish
"Atlanta's own Arc de Triomphe opened 8 years into the new millennium with a flourish of balloons, a barrage of fireworks and a quirky parade that included Lady Liberty, a bust of George Washington and a costumed general James Oglethorpe, who thanked spectators for living in the state he founded.   The Latin inscription atop the arch dedicates it to peace, but there was no doubt whose name was all over the limestone facing: Rodney Cook jr, the Atlanta designer who masterminded the project and raised $15M in private funds to pay for it...   It wasn't just old-line Atlantans who celebrated the opening.   Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and U.S. representative John Lewis all rode in the parade and spoke during the dedication ceremony."

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Pelosi, Lofgren, Reid et al. blocking vote on birth-right citizenship reform
"Jus soli is more commonly abused when alien women sneak into the U.S.A. to deliver their babies or to become pregnant.   According to estimates, 500K such anchor babies are born annually...   Many legal scholars agree that aliens are clearly not 'subject to the jurisdiction' of the U.S.A. but rather to that of their home countries.   Analysts' interpretation is that the phrase's meaning is the same as 'not subject to any foreign power' which, again, aliens are.   ['Family reunification' preferences in handing out visas provide added incentive.]"

Roy Beck _Numbers USA_
Krikorian's new book explains 'post-American' leaders who doubt national community & under-cut American Independence Day intent

Ilana Mercer _V Dare_
And Independence Day Toast to Thomas Jefferson and the Anglo-Saxon Tradition
"Jefferson was affirming the natural right of 'all men' to be secure in their enjoyment of their 'life, liberty and possessions'."
John Locke's 2nd Treatise of Civil Government

Bob Barr _Biloxi MS Sun-Herald_
Genuine Political Alternative
"Since September 11, the Bush administration has routinely sacrificed the privacy and civil liberties of Americans in the name of protecting America's security. 'Yet the terrorist attacks on that tragic day resulted because government was not doing its job, using the powers that it already possessed.', Barr says."


  "Stress can be dangerous to our health.   It not only inflicts emotional suffering, but can lead to physical damage, even death.   According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than 2/3 of all visits to the doctor are due to stress-related ailments, which include asthma, anxiety, head-ache, indigestion, fatigue, & nausea.   Worker's compensation claims for stress-related ailments have increased 700% over the past decade [1985-1995]." --- Walter Pierpaoli, Wiliam Regelson & Carol Colman 1995 _The Melatonin Miracle_ pp 170-171  



Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
a "eureka" moment regarding the Fragomen case
Since this is my fourth posting on the Fragomen case, I will assume here that I need not review the full background.   New members of this list may read my previous postings at
Fragomen audit
Fragomen 2
Fragomen 3
Recall, though, that an interesting aspect of the case is that American network specialist David Huber says he unwittingly stumbled onto Fragomen's actions when responding to a newspaper ad for a position with Cisco Systems.   I now have noticed a very significant anomaly in that ad, as follows.
The ad reads,
Cisco Systems, Inc. is accepting resumes for the position of Network Consulting Engineer (Ref.# CHI1) in Chicago, IL.
Please mail resumes with reference number to Cisco Systems, Inc., Attn.: meclarke, 170 W. Tasman Drive, Mail Stop: SJC 5/1/4, San Jose, CA 95134.   No phone calls please.   Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.   EOE.

Again, recall that Huber tracked down "meclarke", and found her to be Megan Clarke, an employee NOT of Cisco but rather of the Fragomen immigration law firm.   Fragomen later confirmed this publicly.
Now note that last statement in the ad, "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.". I must sheepishly admit that in the past, even I had been deceived by such a statement, thinking to myself "Ah, here is a rare example of a responsible employer.". But of course if Cisco had really meant that the position was only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it would not have needed to route CVs through Fragomen, now would it?
The reason I had been fooled before was that I had naively assumed that the references to contact people in the ads had been legitimate.   So, Huber's connection of "meclarke" to Fragomen is again a breakthrough.
IOW, "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S..." apparently was a fake statement in a fake ad.   What the statement seems to have really meant was, "Don't submit a CV if you are not American, because we're gathering CVs to show DoL that we made a good-faith effort to hire an American before turning to hiring a foreign worker [when what we're really doing is having our immigration law firm find ways to reject every US applicant].".   What are the implications?
1. I've said before that I believe that Fragomen was merely exploiting loop-holes in the law (which I am constantly pointing out is the central problem with the hiring of foreign tech workers, rather than the problem being lack of enforcement of the law).   I doubt that Fragomen did anything illegal, including in the statement I highlighted above.   (The ad did not actually say that the job was closed to foreign workers.)   But that misleading "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S..." statement in the Cisco ad certainly means further embarrassment for Fragomen in its DoL audit, currently in progress, and hopefully provides further education for Congress on this subject.
2. This provides yet another example of the fact that, contrary to the industry lobbyists' claim that most abuse of the H-1B and green card laws is by Indian bodyshops, the abuse pervades the entire industry, including big household-name firms such as Cisco.
3. Sometimes the industry lobbyists have pointed to such statements in job ads ("Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S...") as "evidence" that employers really are turning to hiring foreign workers only as a last resort.   This Cisco example will now serve as a reason to view such statements very skeptically [because, rather than energetically recruiting US workers, they're actually industriously filtering out all US workers via their immigration law firms].
Once again I must invoke senator Grassley's insightful remark that "Nobody should be fooled" by the industry lobbyists' claims on H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.

Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
Businesses Bleat For Lax Immigration Enforcement

Robert Jackman _Libertarian Enterprise_
Mister, Can You Spare a Paradigm?: Ethanol + feed products
U of MN overview of DDGS
research reports on DDGS as beef feed
nutrition profiles of DDGS
DDGS & ethanol
enzymes improve DDGS nutritional value DDGS more on enzymes
USDA prices

Robert Curry _View from 1776_
The Scottish Enlightenment & America's Founding: Turning Away From the Founders


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
it's not just Tata -- it's Cisco! (and all the others)
[Several recent articles tell] an interesting story, illustrating how companies are becoming ever more brazen in their use of foreign labor, here and over-seas.   You should read [them] -- but I won't comment on [their] main content.   Instead, I wish to focus on one passage [from one of them]:
Nielsen's lay-offs also drew attention from CNN's Lou Dobbs, who has railed against the H-1B program.   India off-shore providers are major users of the H-1B visa, with Tata getting 797 of the visas in 2007.   Opponents cite the visa's use in out-sourcing to counter tech industry claims by Bill Gates and others that the visa is used to hire "the best and the brightest" foreign graduates of U.S. universities.   Congress is currently struggling to find a middle ground through legislative efforts to give a Green Card, or permanent residency, to foreign nationals who receive advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

This is a standard line from the industry biggies, the Intels, MSFTs and so on: "Yes, there is [massive] abuse of H-1B by the Indian bodyshops, but we are responsible users of the program, hiring mainly foreign students at U.S. universities."   This is extremely misleading.
Aside from the fact that there is no reason why the foreign students should be the "good" H-1Bs while the ones imported directly from India are "bad", the central point is that the main-stream industry firms widely abuse the program too.
A case in point was shown in my posting earlier today, with Cisco Systems.   Cisco ran a job ad specifying that only American workers could apply -- yet referred all applicants to one M.E. Clarke, who turned out to be with Cisco's immigration law firm, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP.   It was a fake ad with a fake claim that the job was open only to Americans.   This is a great, immediately understandable, public example that I will use frequently from now on, but all of us in this business have seen this happen many times over the years.
When [the public became aware of] the videos of a well-known Pittburgh immigration law firm showing its clients how to exploit loop-holes in H-1B and green card law I published a partial list of the firm's clients, and pointed out that these were mostly main-stream firms in and around Pittsburgh, such as Westinghouse, Marconi, PNC Financial Services, Bayer, and so on.
WashTech has exposed several major incidents of duplicity by MSFT regarding H-1B and off-shoring. (MSFT claim belied and more)
Get the picture?   It's not just the Indian bodyshops; it's Cisco, it's MSFT, it's everyone.   As I've said before, it's just like the tax code.   Every firm, large or small, takes full advantage of loopholes in the tax code, and they do the same for loop-holes in H-1B and green card law.
So if Congress is indeed trying to find a middle ground based on the premise that the main-stream American firms are responsible and the Indian bodyshops are the abusers, this won't solve the problem at all.   As I have explained before, the "automatic green card" proposals for foreign students would have just as much adverse impact on U.S. citizens and permanent residents as would increasing H-1B.   That so-called "middle ground" approach would in fact likely make things even worse, as it would create its own demand, with more and more foreign students coming here, attracted by free green cards.
The above passage also says that we opponents counter the industry's claim that it hires "the best and the brightest" by pointing to the fact that many H-1Bs are used to faciliate off-shoring.   This is false.   We do point to this fact, but as a response to another industry line, "If we can't import H-1Bs, we'll have to export the work itself, sending it off-shore" -- not as a counter to the industry's argument that the H-1Bs are geniuses.   The latter claim is easily seen to be false, by simply looking at H-1B salaries, which (even accounting for under-payment) are nothing like genius-level pay.   This has been known in rough form for years, and I quantified it [again] in my recent CIS article.
coverage of Nielsen on June 19th
coverage of Nielsen on June 21st
coverage of Nielsen on June 23th
coverage of Nielsen on June 25th
coverage of Nielsen on June 26th
coverage of Nielsen on July 1st
coverage of Nielsen on July 3rd
class action against Tata

Jerome Corsi _World Net Daily_
Red Alert news-letter on global financial strategies

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard _London Telegraph_
Oil price rise means Red Chinese economy is also at risk for melt-down

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1885
DoL audit scares executives & immigration lawyers
Immigration attorneys are getting very nervous as the Dept. of Labor audit of the Fragomen law firm gets under-way.   [The] Wall Street Journal article is particularly interesting in the last 2 paragraphs, where Gregory Jacob, the Labor Department's solicitor, makes some puzzling statements.
Jacob admits that employers have "real incentives" to not make "good-faith" searches for U.S. workers.   That seems to be OK with him as long as qualified U.S. workers are rejected by using the generous and ample loop-holes provided in the law (many of which were inserted into the regulations by Fragomen lobbyists).
Jacob even acknowledges that employers sometimes claim that they have made a good-faith search even when they already have the foreigner on the pay-roll, and even when they have no intentions of hiring an American as long as they can get a green card for their foreign employee.   Charades of that type seem to be OK with Jacob also.

Considering the attitude at the DoL it's not at all obvious what they are looking for at Fragomen.   Perhaps they suspect Fragomen got loose with the few rules that are there to protect Americans from the chronic abuse by Fragomen's clients.
The audit will have some positive benefits though -- at the very least we can get some entertainment as the lawyer-sharks slither and squirm under the unwanted publicity.
I grabbed a few excerpts from a July 2 news-letter by the Immigration Lawyers web site (ILW.com).   The angst the lawyers are feeling is good news and way over-due.   I'm sure all of you will shed some baby crocodile tears when you read them.
The last bullet point is my favorite: slave traders at the ILW are whining and sniveling that the DoL is being unfair to lawyers who are providing help to U.S. companies that replace Americans with cheap foreign labor.   Hmmmmmm.   That's definitely a change for the better!

John Miano _IT Management_/_Earth Web_/_Internet.com_/_Datamation_
The Myth of the Interchangeable Programmer: Can't We Just Off-Shore Him?

Mark Binker _News-Record_
Libertarian Senate candidate Chris Cole says government is often the source of problems

_Conference Board_
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ Declines, Suggesting More and Steeper Job Losses to Follow

2008-07-07 (5768 Tamuz 04)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Is there a duty to save the gullible from themselves?
"The Torah commands, 'Don't hate your brother in your heart; surely reprove your fellow, and don't bear sin towards him.' (Leviticus 10:17).   The beginning of the verse tells us that if someone is doing a transgression we shouldn't just condemn them silently; we should try to rectify the situation.   The middle of the verse tells us to admonish a transgressor, to try [to] convince him to refrain from wrong-doing.   The end, 'don't bear sin towards him', tells us to deliver reproof in a constructive manner that will not cause embarrassment...   Another Torah command is, 'Don't stand idly by the blood of your brother.' (Leviticus 19:16).   This commandment tells us to be proactive in preventing loss to our fellow man, and not to stand by idly if his welfare is in danger."

2008-07-08: 17 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1886
Fragomen and the Cisco job ad
"As we all know, employers run bogus job ads so that they can legally reject all qualified Americans who apply.   It's all part of the labor certification game that is designed to give employers everything they need to discriminate against higher priced U.S. workers.
It's been business-as-usual in the cheap labor business until an engineer named David Huber applied for a network engineer position at Cisco Systems in response to a job advertisement in the Chicago Tribune newspaper.   Cisco never intended on hiring a U.S. citizen so they sent all resumes to an employee of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP.   The problem for Cisco and Fragomen is that they bungled the job ad because it included the employee's name.   Big, big, mistake!
To see the job ad and to understand why it's causing such a stir.
To read more detail on how Huber stumbled onto this fine piece of evidence.
The discovery of Cisco's bogus job ad came at a very bad time for Fragomen.   That's because the Department of Labor is doing an investigation to see if the Fragomen firm has been giving employers a little too much coaching on how to rig the green card program.   The DoL intends to do an audit of all of the green card applications for the Fragomen law firm and that has made many immigration lawyers very angry, and worried.   Unscrupulous immigration lawyer-sharks are worried that if the DoL finds something wrong at Fragomen their own law firm may be next.   It's a common concern among criminal conspirators.
Fragomen has another big problem: the job ad was saved so they can't deny their culpability.   Their first response was to send an edgy letter to the ad agency who posted the ad (pdf).
It's a nice try by Fragomen but nobody is going to buy it.   The Miller Ad Agency was just paid to do what they were told, although they probably goofed big time by revealing the Fragomen contact in the job ad.   Fragomen blows the problem off on a technical error.   It was very bad luck on Fragomen's part that Huber figured out the sham:
While it is unlikely that a reader would identify Fragomen as the point of contact... blah, blah, blah... the firm's Fragomen name does show up in the posting (albeit with no address, e-mail, phone number or method of contacting Fragomen, as well as an incomplete version of the firm's name.
Yes, they are right: it is highly unlikely that someone would figure out their scam, but David Huber did.   Bummer for Fragomen!
The Immigration Lawyers web site ILW is trying to cover for their fellow conspirators by resorting to some very cheap character assassination.   In the article below they begin by accusing Huber of being a xenophobe.   I have talked to Huber several times and he never seemed like an opponent of immigration.   He is however opposed to discrimination against American citizens, and is very angry that he has lost jobs to H-1Bs that are usually not as qualified as he.   ILW spinners try to make a big deal about the fact that he testified in Congress against the job destruction caused by H-1B.   You can read it yourself but you won't find any of the anti-immigrant sentiment that ILW is so paranoid about:
The most hilarious part of the article below is that after ILW takes a few swipes at Huber they cop a guilty plea.   They admit to everything, but try to absolve themselves of guilt by saying that Megan Clarke, who was listed on the job ad, was just a temporary employee of Fragomen.   It's a nice try but doesn't change the facts -- and the facts are very damning -- especially now that the job ad is all over the web.

Luke DeKoster _Sioux County Index_/_Small Town Papers_

"If you don't want to vote for a Democrat, don't.   If you don't want to vote for a liberal', don't.   (While we're on the subject, if you truly want to vote for a 'Sioux County conservative', your choice should be Ron Paul or Bob Barr, not John McCain -- and if you want someone who says we should make laws and amend the Constitution in compliance with the Bible, write in Mike Huckabee.)"

Roger Simmermaker _World Net Daily_
A few off-shored jobs are returning
"A privately-held company that makes heaters to keep football players warm while on the sidelines recently moved production from [Red China] back to Kentucky.   A family-owned foundry in Bremen, IN, is being reactivated once again to manufacture pumps after moving work to [Red China] just 2 years ago.   And Crown Battery Mfg. is shuttering a plant in Mexico and adding work to its Ohio factory...   Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania have collectively lost 200K manufacturing jobs in just the last 2 years...   The value of the dollar has decreased 30% since 2002 against many major currencies and wage rates in [Red China] are increasing 10% to 15% a year.   The cost of shipping a 40-foot container to San Diego from Shanghai, for example, has increased 150% since 2000...   Iron manufacturer Donsco...   Tesla Motors...   there's no sensible reason to intentionally stack the deck against ourselves to begin with like we have with our current trade policies."

Doug Daniels _Clear Channel_/_WCOH_
NASCAR bans presidential candidates from overt campaigning, beginning with Bob Barr
"Politics was informed of the policy after a credentialing request had been denied to cover an unofficial appearance in Daytona by Libertarian Party Presidential nominee, Bob Barr.   ISC officials explained that credentialing a political reporter would, in their view, constitute the facilitation of a campaign event, in sharp violation of their policy...   But as recently as this past January, just prior to the Florida Republican presidential primary, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani campaigned at the Daytona Speedway, waving from the passenger seat of his bus, which was emblazoned with the proclamation 'Florida is Rudy country' as it sped around the track to the uplifting theme music from the film 'Rudy'.   'While we were disappointed to learn of the ISC's recent decision to prohibit campaigning at their tracks, we still enjoyed our time as spectators and fans of the sport during our recent visit to Daytona over the July 4th weekend.', said Barr Campaign Manager Shane Cory.   'We didn't have a decked out campaign bus to circle the track, but that didn't slow down Bob Barr from meeting supporters and talking to folks during his time inside the track.'   The genesis of NASCAR can be traced back to Daytona Beach in the late 1940s, when William France, a mechanic and race promoter developed the stock car association with several drivers, building the Daytona International Speedway.   The France family has continued to remain deeply involved in NASCAR, with France's grandson, Brian France, now serving as CEO and Chairman of the association.   France took over when his father, the late William France jr, retired in 2003.   According to official Federal Election Commission records, Brian France contributed a combined $4,600 for Giuliani's primary and general election campaign efforts -- the maximum amount allowed under campaign finance laws.   Last week at a press conference, France, in sharp contrast to the ISC's supposed policy, publicly encouraged both McCain and Obama to appear at NASCAR events before Election Day, and said he had formally extended invitations to their campaigns...   And in 2004, during the early part of George Bush's contentious re-election campaign, the President swooped in on Air Force One and made an appearance before the packed crowd at the Daytona 500 race, considered by most to be the biggest NASCAR event of the year."

John Nichols _Capital Times_
Open up presidential debates
"Google and YouTube are organizing a unique presidential forum in New Orleans for September 18...   The corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates -- which was set up by former chairs of the major parties and their big-media allies to limit access to the most important forums for presidential nominees -- has made a mockery of the democratic process...   The truth is that America needs more and better debates."

_World Net Daily_
Rasmussen poll gives congress a 9% approval rating
Motor Trend
USA Today/Gannett
Judicial Watch
"Last month, 11% of voters gave the legislature good or excellent ratings.   Congress has not received higher than a 15% approval rating since the beginning of 2008.   Voters not affiliated with either party are the most critical of Congressional performance.   Just 3% of those voters give Congress positive ratings, down from 6% last month. 63% believe Congress is doing a poor job, up from 57% last month.   Just 2% rated the performance as excellent, and 7% rated it as good.   Most voters (72%) think most members of Congress are more interested in furthering their own political careers.   Just 14% believe members are genuinely interested in helping people."

2008-07-08 (5768 Tamuz 05)
Frank J. Gaffney _Jewish World Review_
Radical Islamists have the West just where they want us
"adherents to this ideology are making extraordinary strides in Western societies toward criminalizing those who dare oppose the Islamist end-state -- the imposition of brutal Shariah Law on Muslims and non-Muslims alike...   The Islamists are trying to establish a kind of Catch-22: If you point out that they seek to impose a barbaric, repressive and seditious Shariah Law, you are insulting their faith and engaging in unwarranted, racist and bigoted fear-mongering.   On the other hand, pursuant to Shariah, you must submit to that theo-political-legal program.   If you don't, you can 'legitimately' be killed."

Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
15 Things You Should Know About the Organization that Calls Itself "The Race"

2008-07-08 (5768 Tamuz 05)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Conservatives for Obama!?
"Back in the 18th century, Helvetius said, 'When I speak I put on a mask.   When I act, I am forced to take it off.'   Too many voters still have not learned that lesson.   They need to look at the track record of Obama's actions.   Back in the days of 'The Lone Ranger' program, someone would ask, 'Who is that masked man?'   People need to start asking that question about Barack Obama."

Terry Shawn & Jennifer Kaplan _US DoL ETA_
DoL to supervise abuse of PERM process by Cohen & Grigsby
"Supervised recruitment requires the employer to receive advance approval from the department for all recruitment efforts to ensure that U.S. workers are fully considered for available positions...   Last year, the department began auditing applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby as a result of information indicating the firm may have improperly advised its clients regarding the recruitment of U.S. workers.   Because of concerns identified in the audits, the department is requiring supervised recruitment for certain applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby...   The Immigration and Nationality Act requires the secretary of labor to certify that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available for an open position prior to an alien being permanently admitted to the country to fill it.   The department's regulations require employers to 'test' the labor market for U.S. workers in a manner that is open, fair and not biased toward foreign workers, including temporary foreign workers already employed by the employer seeking the permanent labor certification."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Numbers USA

In the [above] press release, DoL announced that it has initiated a "supervised recruitment" action with Cohen & Grigsby, the immigration law firm [that posted their 7th annual seminar on employment &emp; immigration law on YouTube which brought to light some of the abuse which has been being carried out within current legal limits].   This is the firm whose videos on YouTube showed employers how to legally avoid hiring Americans when they are sponsoring a foreign worker for a green card.   DoL now will be giving Cohen & Grigsby's green card applications extra scrutiny.
This comes on the heels of DoL's having initiated an audit of Fragomen, the nation's largest immigration law firm, also on alleged irregularities in the green card process.
As I've said before, I believe that both firms have been complying with the law and regulations.   What they've been doing is ugly but legal.   This of course illustrates my frequent theme that the employers and immigration lawyers don't have to cheat, as the gaping loop-holes make it easy to circumvent the spirit of the law while staying within the letter of the law.
Why, then, is the DoL going after these 2 firms?   My guess is that it's for show, to divert attention from the real issues, which are the loop-holes.   This has been a favorite tactic of the industry lobbyists.
OTOH, it could be an issue of pride.   Though the DoL has clearly been politicized, there are some there who don't view their jobs as tools of Big Business.   I can imagine them having the feeling that the employers and lawyers are humiliating them and making a mockery of their jobs, causing an intense desire among some in DoL to take action to show that DoL has some back-bone.
I'm also enclosing an editorial on DoL's action in Immigration Daily, a publication by ILW for immigration lawyers.   ILW has been highly critical of -- "hostile toward" would be a more accurate description -- DoL for its action with Fragomen, and now is equally outraged by the new sanction on Cohen & Grigsby.   ILW's view of the 2 cases is just as interesting as the sanctions themselves, because ILW admits that, as it stated in an earlier editorial on the Fragomen case, the law and regulations as written do NOT protect American workers.
Both of the enclosures below, one from DoL and the other from ILW, point out something often over-looked in the H-1B/green card debate: The law itself (INA 212(a)(5)(A)) states that no alien may be admitted to the U.S.A. for employment unless the Sec. of Labor finds that there is a labor shortage in the field.   DoL must then write regulations to implement that law (the reference to "20 CFR 656" below).   Those regs require the employer who wishes to sponsor a foreigner for a green card to advertise the job, etc.   That already creates a huge loop-hole, as there is no requirement that the employer really try to fill the job with an American.   (Ironically, the law for H-1B-dependent employers [a tiny fraction of all H-1B sponsors] does have such a requirement.)   See the point?   The law requires the Sec. of Labor to insure that Americans get hiring priority, but neither the law nor the regs directly require the employer to make a good faith effort to hire an American; the only requirement is indirect, by directing the employer to place newspaper ads and so on.   This loop-hole is subtle but huge.   There are many other loop-holes as well, which is why I believe that Cohen & Grigsby did comply with the law and regs.
Again, these regs have huge loop-holes -- placed there under pressure from the immigration lawyers, mind you -- but ILW contends that DoL shouldn't be doing even that much.
Once again, the real import of these two actions is not that the law firms violated green card law, but rather that they legally exploited very bad features of that law.   I hope that Congress keeps this in mind as it comes under increasing pressure to liberalize the employment-based green card programs.   The Fragomen and Cohen & Grigsby cases, plus ILW's correct admission that the law and regs do not protect American workers, should be seen by Congress as clear evidence that the green card programs should NOT be expanded.   I hope they realize this and have the courage to resist the industry's pressure.   I'll have more to say about this, including some interesting new information on the Fragomen case, in the next day or two.

earlier coverage of Cohen & Grigsby's 7th annual employment and immigration law seminar, advising clients on ways to "disqualify" every US applicant and pay guest-workers below prevailing market compensation
Fragomen 1
Fragomen 2
Fragomen 3
2005-03-31: Fragomen
2005-12-22: Fragomen
2006-02-26: Fragomen
2006-03-10: Fragomen
2008-06-02: Fragomen
2008-06-10: Fragomen
2008-06-24: Fragomen
2008-07-04: Fragomen
2008-07-06: Fragomen
2008-07-07: Fragomen
campaign contributions made by Fragomen

Norm Matloff _Numbers USA_
Immigration law firm attacks American tech worker


_Wireless Week_
Siemens to cut 16,750 employees
Career Engineer
Douglas McIntyre: Blogging Stocks
iStock Analyst
Charlotte/Triangle Business Journal
"The company's medical division employs about 700 people in Cary.   In February, the division received state incentives to add 300 more jobs in the area...   Under terms of the deal approved with the state in February, Siemens would add a new 6-story training center and parking deck as part of its local expansion."

_PR Inside_/_Business Wire_
Copenhagen conference & exhibit to feature solar energy & other university to corporate technology transfers
"Major sponsors of the event include: SIEMENS, Maersk Oil, Earth2Tech, Cleantech Group, KPMG, and Danfoss.   The Danish manufacturing group, Danfoss AS, on Monday was approved to take full control of Sauer-Danfoss Inc, its joint venture with Sauer Holding GmbH.   ARCO announced that it would sell its solar energy subsidiary to Siemens A.G.. According to Siemens, the market is growing by 30% a year."

_Software Development_/_IBN_/_Business Wire_
Michael Mansouri joined Avalon Technology as chairman of the board
Consumer Electronics Net
"Since 2002, Avalon has grown significantly and expanded its field offices to locations throughout the nation.   Inc. Magazine has named Avalon one of the 5K fastest-growing private companies in America -- and the 50th fastest growing company in the Washington [DC] metro area.   Avalon's clients include U.S. Army, Department of Justice (DoJ), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Transportation (DoT), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Siemens, Sun Microsystems and other commercial and Federal entities.   Avalon is a SBA 8(a) Certified Small Business."

Richard Valenty _Colorado Daily_
dysfunctional US job markets
"The wind energy firm RES-Americas decided to locate its U.S. headquarters in Broomfield.   ConocoPhillips will build a corporate training and energy research campus - one that could provide up to 7K jobs within 20 years -- in Louisville.   IBM recently opened a $350M Green Data Center in Boulder, and Siemens Energy will locate a wind turbine research facility in Boulder."

Toby Shute _Motley Fools_
The T. Boone Pickens Plan
"Developers are throwing up turbines as fast as General Electric and Siemens can build them."

2008-07-09 09:36PDT (12:36EDT) (16:36GMT)
Russ Britt _MarketWatch_
Partying like it's 1980 all over again

2008-07-09 12:30PDT (15:30EDT) (19:30GMT)
ISO New England selected Vamsi Chadalavada as VP & COO
Business Wire
"ISO New England Inc., operator of the region's bulk power system and wholesale electricity markets...   Gordon van Welie, ISO New England's President and CEO...   Prior to joining ISO New England in 2003, Dr. Chadalavada was Vice President and General Manager of Siemens Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS), where he was responsible for operations and services, research and development, business development, and marketing of Siemens' EMIS systems."

_World Net Daily_
Indiana university employee accused of racial harassment for reading history book _Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan_ in break room

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1879
LawLogix, Fragomen et al., Cohen & Grigsby
Lately the good news just keeps coming: the Department of Labor is not stopping with the Fragomen audit -- they are going after some other big timers.   [DoL issued 2 press releases, recently.]
A company called LawLogix has been debarred from filing applications for permanent labor certification (employment based green cards) for 3 years.   Lawlogix was caught trying to test their immigration software by submitting more than 100 "fraudulent" applications for green cards.   Apparently they were trying to find ways to game the system by testing for weaknesses in the DoL's electronic processing system.   Somehow the DoL caught them in the act...
The LawLogix EDGE system is the #1 integrated immigration forms, case management and billing software system with professional online client interfaces and exceptional reporting capabilities.
Remember Cohen&Grigsby?...   I can't resist repeating Lawrence Lebowitz's famous statement in the video that: "our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker".
It appears that the DoL busted them for something, although it's not entirely clear from the press release exactly what they did wrong.   The penalty for Cohen&Grigsby's misdeeds is that they will be required to be under "supervised recruitment" status whenever they apply for green cards.   I think that means they will need the DoL to baby-sit them for a while to make sure they don't misbehave.   This is going to be very bad for business because shady employers might start bringing their business to other attorneys that haven't been tainted yet.   Too bad for these over-glorified ambulance chasers -- perhaps they will lose their jobs and suffer like most the rest of us!
IMPORTANT: It's important to note that none of the DoL actions will affect guest-worker visas such as H-1B, H-2B, L-1, TN, O, etc.   For those visas, it's still a free-for-all, but immigration attorneys are getting very paranoid that the DoL might direct attention to these also.   We can only hope!
As you can imagine, immigration sharks like Siskind are foaming at the mouth over these recent events.
more on Cohen & Grigsby
Fragomen 1
Fragomen 2
Fragomen 3
2005-03-31: Fragomen
2005-12-22: Fragomen
2006-02-26: Fragomen
2006-03-10: Fragomen
2008-06-02: Fragomen
2008-06-10: Fragomen
2008-06-24: Fragomen
2008-07-04: Fragomen
2008-07-06: Fragomen
2008-07-07: Fragomen
2008-07-08: Fragomen
campaign contributions made by Fragomen

James Carlini _Midwest Business Tech News_
Reality vs. Real Estate shows on the tube
"At 6% commission, they are only losing $12K on a $200K drop in price. On the other hand, you are losing $188K in what you thought was solid equity. Here's a rule of thumb: for every $10K you cut your price by, the agent is only losing $600 while you're losing $9,400 (plus the 6% commission off the top on the remaining balance)."

_Craig's List_
Permatemp Culture
Apparently, there are still some big Tech companies out there who never heard of [the MSFT permatemp legal case].
I realize that the economy is bad and people are desperate for jobs, but this Permatemp phenomenon needs to be nipped in the bud. Actually it should have years ago, considering the above-mentioned case.
Does this Wikpedia entry sound familiar?
Jimbo Wales's Wikipedia on Permatemp
1998 January
1999 Fall
2002 September
2006-02-25: My notes on Matloff's article on an ACM study
2007-10-04: Washington governor Chris Gregoire on Perma-Temp
2007-10-10: My notes on Moira Herbst's article

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
A Work Force Betrayed
Baltimore Chronicle
"If it pays corporations to ship out high value-added manufacturing jobs, it pays them to ship out high value-added service jobs.   And that is exactly what US corporations have done."

  "The ownership [of cars] is discouraged in totalitarian societies.   A mobile population is a population essentially out of control of centralized government." --- Brock Yates
"[The automobile is a] suit of armor with 200 horses inside, big enough to make love in.   Once having tasted the delights of a society in which almost everyone can be a knight, it is hard to go back to being a peasant." --- Kenneth Boulding _The Green Life-style Hand-Book_
"[The] trouble is we don't have the political mechanisms to impose pain on citizens in a democratic society." --- Michael Walsh, World Watch Institute



2008-07-10 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 398,432 in the week ending July 5, an increase of 30,009 from the previous week.   There were 417,554 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1% during the week ending June 28, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,856,382, an increase of 781 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.7% and the volume was 2,303,357.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending June 21."

EPA says that the statistical value of a US life is worth $1M less than 5 years ago
The "value of a statistical life" is $6.9M in today's dollars, down from $7.8M five years ago, based on what people are willing to pay to avoid certain risks, and how much extra money employers pay their workers to take on additional risks.

2008-07-10 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Elaine Chao and H-1B visas
Lou Dobbs: Well, Senators Obama and McCain, this week, talking before one of the country's biggest pro-amnesty special interest groups trying to win over Hispanic voters, more pandering today this time from the Bush administration.   Labor Secretary Elaine Chao pushing for free trade and more cheap foreign labor talking before the League of United Latin-American Citizens or LULAC...
Elaine Chao, US secretary of labor: The Department of Labor has worked with Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reach out to vulnerable immigrants to make sure that they are protected on the job and paid a full day's wage for a full day's work...   It is also the policy of this administration to enforce work place health, safety and compensation laws regardless of status...

professor Jan Ting, Temple University: When you think about the history of the Department of Labor which was created with the goal of protecting the rights of American workers and ensuring their needs and expectations are met.

Louise Schiavone: At the same time, the Labor Department is proposing changes in H2-B visa regulations for migrant workers doing jobs like landscaping, construction and hotel work.
To stream-line the process, says a Labor Department spokesman, it's proposing that states be taken out of the review of guest-worker applications and to avoid cases where migrants stay illegally on long-term projects like ship-building, the Department of Labor is proposing the one-year H-2b time frame be extended to 3 years.
Sharply criticizing that proposed rule House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller tells Lou Dobbs Tonight, quote, "the proposed changes increase the likelihood that U.S. workers will be displaced by guest-workers and that their wages and working conditions will suffer as a result."
Louise Schiavone: Lou, former INS assistant commissioner Jan Ting says for all the Labor Department's efforts for Hispanic workers, legal and illegal, one of the great ironies is that people most adversely affected by competition from H2-B visas are recent legal immigrants -- Lou.
Lou Dobbs: And the Labor Secretary didn't refer to that nor did she mention the fact that the 4 industries in which illegal aliens are working in this country, that is, leisure, hospitality, landscaping and construction.   In all 4 industries over the past 5 years, wages have declined while the administration goes around blabbering, suggesting that more labor is needed in those industries...
An addendum to our story tonight, Secretary Elaine Chao finds herself in a unique position.   She is now the only remaining member of the original Bush cabinet.   And one other distinction worth noting, Chao is also the longest-serving labor secretary since the Second World War.
While Secretary Chao may want to bring more cheap labor into this country in point of fact the United States already has at least 10 guest-worker programs.   I know what you're thinking.
The president of the United States has been running around saying [he thinks] we need a guest-worker program, apparently unaware that we already have 10 of them.   Well we can't account for that but there's a cap of 65K regular H-1B visas offered each year.   And an additional 20K visas set aside for high-tech workers with advanced degrees.   That brings the total of H-1B visas available to 85K.
But the truth is the number of those visas is actually much higher.   The H-1B program is meant to bring, quote, "the brightest and best foreign workers into this country".   But only 1 in 10 of those visas now goes to highly-skilled workers [other reasonable estimates suggest it's between 1 and 5 out of 100].   According to the latest figures, 8 out of the top 10 companies applying for those visas are Indian companies in this country for the specific purpose of oing.
The H-1B visa program is intended to be a temporary worker program, it is, however, anything but.   The H-1Bs are issued on a three-year basis, they can be extended to 6 years [extended annually after that] and there is absolutely no government agency currently monitoring those workers, determining whether they left the United States at the expiration of their visas or not.

2008-07-10 15:40PDT (18:40EDT) (22:40GMT)
Joyce Koh _MarketWatch_
Aluminum hit record prices as Red China slashed output

Marcus Epstein _V Dare_
Cannon's Firing: The Treason Lobby Attempts Damage Control

_The Week Daily_
The rise of the Libertarians
"In 2006, Libertarian candidates received a total of more than 13M votes nationwide.   About 600 Libertarians now serve as mayors, county executives, and municipal council members, and occupy other local positions throughout the nation."

2008-07-10 (5768 Tamuz 07)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
An Internet fraud

2008-07-10 (5768 Tamuz 07)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Scape-Goating Speculators
more on futures markets


Iran arm, Hizbullah gets veto power in Lebanese parliament

_World Net Daily_
Housing finance bail-out includes massive privacy violation through collection of finger-prints
"'Payment Card and Third Party Network Information Reporting.   The proposal requires information reporting on payment card and third party network transactions.   Payment settlement entities, including merchant acquiring banks and third party settlement organizations, or third party payment facilitators acting on their behalf, will be required to report the annual gross amount of reportable transactions to the IRS and to the participating payee.   Reportable transactions include any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction.'   Now Berlau said representatives from groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Conservative Union also are objecting to the mandate for continuous finger-print tracking.   Others joining in expressing their objections to Congress are officials for the American Policy Center, Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, Natural Solutions Foundation, International Association of Whistleblowers, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Liberty Coalition and others.   Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, and Mel Martinez, R-FL, have defended the requirement, saying their plan 'would not violate the privacy rights of anyone'."
privacy links

2008-07-11 06:46PDT (09:46EDT) (13:46GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
Prices on imports to USA rose 2.6% in June while prices of exports rose 1%

2008-07-11 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index increased slightly from 56.4 in June to 56.6 in July

2008-07-11 07:54PDT (10:54EDT) (14:54GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Trade gap narrows to seasonally adjusted $59.8G as exports increased to $175.5G and imports hit record $217.3G

2008-07-11 08:08PDT (11:08EDT) (15:08GMT)
Adam Brandon _MarketWatch_/_FreedomWorks_
US tax-victims to bail out Red Chinese government, which holds $376G in Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac bonds
"The top 5 foreign holders of Freddie and Fannie long-term debt are [Red China], Japan, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.   In total foreign investors hold over $1.3T in these agency bonds...   FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, 'The prospectus for every GSE bond clearly states that it is not backed by the United States government.   That's why investors holding agency bonds already receive a significant risk premium over Treasuries.'"

2008-07-11 08:10PDT (11:10EDT) (15:10GMT)
American dream turning into a quagmire for debt-ridden public

P.M. Jaworski _Western Standard_
Bob Barr's poll numbers are beginning to look surprisingly good
Third Party Watch
Lew Rockwell
"If Barr hits 10% in a national poll, he'll get into the debates. And if Barr gets into the debates, the Republicans will be in serious trouble."
Ballot Access News

Lisa Renee Ward _Toledo Free Press_
Bob Barr has 2,372 MySpace friends
Bob Barr 2008: Liberty for America web log

Marc Gallagher _Liberty Maven_
Bob Barr criticizes cutting corners on declaring war

"Chris M." _Fish Wrangler_
Your child could become a member of congress... if it's OK with Pelosi & McCain

Richard Koman _Ziff Davis_
Steve Jobs & Nancy Heinen cleared of criminal charges related to option back-dating

Chris Duckett _Ziff Davis_
Sun Microsystems quiet about their lay-offs in Australia
"Earlier this morning, Sun served approximately 1K lay-off notifications to employees across Canada and the USA."

Donald A. Collins _V Dare_
More Big Print Media Propaganda For Open Borders Special Interests

Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Baseball's immigration score-card, owners' wallets vs. fans

V Dare fund-raising appeal

2008-07-11 (5768 Tamuz 08)
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski _Jewish World Review_
A spiritual budget

2008-07-11 (5768 Tamuz 08)
Caroline B. Glick _Jewish World Review_
A tale of 2 hostages

S&P 5001,239.49
10-year US T-Bond3.94%
crude oil$145.08/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
UPDATE -- Cisco, Fragomen et al., green card bills
I've acquired some interesting new information regarding the Cisco/Fragomen green card scandal, concerning other Fragomen clients, notably HP.   I also had my second "Eureka moment" this week, concerning one of the industry lobbyists' main arguments.
In the present posting, I'll report on the new information and insight, and combine it with short statements of the old information (consisting mainly of links to old postings), so that readers can see everything put together in a coherent manner.
[The disclosed practices of both large immigration law practices, Fragomen et al. and Cohen & Grigsby] have major implications for bills currently in Congress regarding employment-based (EB) green cards.   There are several proposals there now, and word is that the mood among many in Congress is to give the industry what it wants.   A key point is that the feeling seems to be that H-1B has problems but the EB green card programs are good and thus should be expanded.   I will show here that that premise is false, as is the conclusion.   The EB green card programs are widely abused, including by our most prominent main-stream firms, and the immigration lawyers themselves have stated publicly that EB green card law does not protect American workers.
* The well-publicized scandals -- the [videos Cohen & Grigsby posted on] YouTube and the recent revelations regarding Fragomen and Cisco -- have primarily involved green cards, not H-1B.   I've heard from several sources that people in Congress were disturbed by [the coming to light of the videos of the Cohen & Grigsby seminar], and that presumably will be true for [similar revelations involving Cisco and law firm Fragomen et al.] as well.   Thus the feeling in Congress that "H-1B has problems but EB green cards are good" is incorrect.
* The green card abuse is by main-stream employers, not just the Indian bodyshops.   Therefore the industry lobbyist claim that the main-stream firms are acting responsibly and their request for expanding EB should be granted, is again incorrect.
* Even prominent immigration lawyers have stated publicly that the green card law does not protect American workers.   Again, that shows that the notion that "H-1B has problems but EB green cards are good" is incorrect.
* We are not losing the "best and brightest" among our foreign workers to our foreign competitors due to long waits for green cards, as claimed by the industry.   Moreover, many immigrant programmers and engineers continue to help the industries back in their home countries after acquiring a green card.   Therefore the industry's use of this "We're losing them" argument to demand an expanded EB program is invalid.
*   Therefore Congress should not assume that IEEE-USA's support for the EB program means that most programmers and engineers share that view.   They don't; on the contrary, the Programmers Guild, for instance, has complained about EB green cards for years.
* Expansion of the EB green card program would be unwarranted and harmful.
Here are the details:
**** The well-publicized foreign tech worker scandals, [that have come to light of the actions of two major law firms, Cohen & Grigsby and Fragomen et al.] have primarily involved green cards, not H-1B. ****
H-1B is a temporary work visa, while a green card confers permanent resident status. However, these two are connected in that employers who sponsor foreign workers for green cards typically employ them first as H-1Bs.   For more information on the processes etc., see my green card tutorial.
In 2007 June, a prominent Pittsburgh immigration law firm, Cohen & Grigsby, placed videos on YouTube of a conference it held for it clients -- much to its regret, as a furor ensued over the firm's brazen statements along the lines of "Remember, our goal is to NOT hire an American.", showing employers how to use the gaping loop-holes in the law to avoid hiring U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The context of these videos was EB green card law, which requires employers to give hiring priority to American workers.   There is no such requirement for H-1B (other than a minuscule exception category).  So, although the [Cohen & Grigsby] videos did also show loop-holes for H-1B, they were mainly about green cards.
The Cisco/Fragomen flap was completely about green cards. 
My understanding was that many in Congress were upset by the revelations [from Cohen & Grigsby], and hopefully they will be troubled by [the Cisco and Fragomen et al. revelations] too.   If so, they should not take the view that "H-1B has problems but EB green cards are good", since the scandals were about EB.
**** The abuse is by main-stream employers, not just the Indian bodyshops. ****
Recall again the statement in the Cohen & Grigsby video:
And our goal is clearly, not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker.   And you know in a sense that sounds funny, but it's what we're trying to do here.   We are complying with the law fully, but ah, our objective is to get this person a green card, and get through the labor certification process.   So certainly we are not going to try to find a place [at which to advertise the job] where the applicants are the most numerous.   We're going to try to find a place where we can comply with the law, and hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants.

Cisco is of course a large, highly main-stream firm.   The job ad Cisco placed is a great illustration of the [Cohen & Grigsby] video's statement above that the employer's and lawyer's goal: "...hoping, and likely, not to find qualified and interested worker applicants".   They place ads with the intention of just going through the motions, building up documentation to send the Department of Labor (DoL) while knowing fully that they actually never wanted to hire an American.   The Cisco ad stated ad that only American workers could apply, but Cisco routed the applications to Megan Clarke of the Fragomen immigration law firm, to collect documentation to give to the DoL.   Fragomen admits that Clarke was its employee in its letter defending its actions.
What's wrong with Cisco's/Fragomen's actions?
1. DoL alleges, and Fragomen now admits, that Cisco routed all American applications to Fragomen.   DoL rules forbid employers from having external immigration lawyers get too involved in the hiring process, as the lawyers have a vested interest in rejecting all U.S. applicants, so that the lawyers can make money from the sponsorship of the foreign worker for a green card.
2. Cisco's ad egregiously deceived American applicants, by implying that the position was open only to Americans.   And if, as is likely, Cisco was engaged in behavior like that in the [Cohen & Grigsby] quote above, Cisco was even more egregiously deceiving American applicants, by implying that the job was open to Americans at all.   While Cisco was probably within the law (the phrasing in the ad didn't actually say that the job was open only to Americans), such deceptive behavior severely undermines Silicon Valley's credibility in its lobbying of Congress to expand the EB green card program.
Hewlett-Packard is another highly main-stream firm.   They are also clients of Fragomen, and their ads use the same language as the Cisco ad.
The last portion of the ad says
Send resume & refer to job #CUPISH.   Please send resumes with job number to Hewlett-Packard Company, 19483 Pruneridge Ave., MS 4206, Cupertino, CA 95014.   No phone calls please.   Must legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.   EOE.

This the same language as in the Cisco ad, most importantly in the statement that only Americans can apply.   So, just where is Mail Stop 4206?   It turns out to be for Susan Lampedecchio, Immigration Specialist (pdf)!
Of course it's possible that Mail Stop 4206 is for the entire HR department rather than just the Immigration Specialists, but given that the language is the same as in the Cisco case and that HP is a client of Fragomen, it certainly looks like the same game is being played. 
Presumably Ms. Lampedecchio is an HP employee, not a Fragomen worker.   But it doesn't make any difference.   Whether the American applicants' CVs are being sent to an internal Immigration Specialist or to an external law firm, either way the CVs are being handled by a person whose job it is to reject [all of] them.
Again I must emphasize that Fragomen's clients are prominent MAIN-STREAM U.S. companies, not the Indian bodyshops that the industry lobbyists love to shift blame to during H-1B/EB discussions.   Here is a partial list of MAIN-STREAM Fragomen clients, from the DoL PERM data-base:
HP, Bank of America,  Merrill Lynch, Autodesk, Deloitte and Touche, KPMG, Gap Inc., Inktomi, Qwest, 3Com, Agilent, Novartis, Fed Ex, AC Nielsen, Computer Associates, Siebel, Charles Schwab, Silicon Graphics, Texas Instruments, Compaq, Lucent, Chevron, IBM, Sybase, Amgen
There are many, many more.
So, the industry's argument that abuse of tech foreign worker programs is limited to hiring of H-1Bs by Indian bodyshops, and that EB green card sponsorship by main-stream U.S. firms is done responsibly, is simply false.
**** Even prominent immigration lawyers have stated that the green card law does not protect American workers. ****
The law firms involved in [these practices] are major players in the field.   Fragomen is the largest in the nation, and Cohen & Grigsby is the fifth-largest.
Joel Stewart is one of the most prominent immigration lawyers in the business.   He literally wrote the book on the EB green process, and is considered a major expert on it.   See his extensive bio.
In an article in ILW's Immigration Daily, a widely-read publication for immigration attorneys, Stewart wrote, "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply" (Joel Stewart, "Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers" Immigration Daily, 2000 April 24).
It is that "arsenal" that the Cohen & Grigsby law firm was teaching to employers in the infamous [Cohen & Grigsby] videos.
In ILW's recent rants against DoL for initiating its Fragomen audit, ILW minced no words in explaining that the EB green card process does not protect American workers ("New Stuff in DoL Saga" Immigration Daily, 2008/06/26)
Most experienced practitioners have a life-time record of 99% [of their green card cases ultimately being] certified [by DoL]...   Using entirely lawful reasons for rejecting [all] US workers, an employer guided by legal counsel should have no difficulty in almost every case in obtaining certification... DoL's claim that the labor market test protects US workers is bogus...   DoL cruelly uses US workers as pawns and equally cruelly uses US employers as unwilling participants in a charade,...

Those last two statements say it all. Translation: The American applicants have no hope of getting the job.   The law and regs have tons of loop-holes -- the "lawful reasons" ILW refers to and the "arsenal" cited by Joel Stewart -- and "experienced practitioners" know exactly how to exploit those loop-holes.
So, even ILW, a major immigration law publication with 17K+ readers, says that the EB green card process is fundamentally "bogus".   That's why Cisco et al put out those bogus job ads with bogus statements that mislead American applicants to think the job is open only to Americans, when in fact it's not open to Americans at all.
It would be unconscionable for Congress to expand this bogus program.
**** We are not losing the "best and brightest" among our foreign workers to our foreign competitors due to long waits for green cards, as claimed by the industry.   Moreover, many immigrant programmers and engineers continue to help the industries back in their home countries after acquiring a green card anyway.   Therefore the industry's use of this "We'll lose them to our foreign competitors" argument to demand an expanded EB program is invalid. ****
The industry claims that we need to expand the EB green card program, as the "best and brightest" will get tired of waiting for green cards, and will then go to work for our foreign competitors.   This is directly contrary to the facts on green card waiting time, and flies in the face of the industry's own actions.   Here's why:
First, as I've detailed in other postings, the EB green card program has a special category, EB-1, for the [supposedly] "best and the brightest" [of those wishing to upgrade from a temporary work visa to a green card], and the wait time in that category after approval has been ZERO in recent years.   Yes, there are some that are waiting for 6 years or more, but they are in EB-3, the lowest of the 3 main EB green card categories, for those of ordinary ability doing ordinary work.
Second, the research of Professor AnnaLee Saxenian, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Information at UC Berkeley is quite relevant here.   Saxenian, who generally takes a pro-industry view on foreign worker programs, surveyed immigrant engineers in Silicon Valley and found that most retained not only family ties with their homelands but technological ones as well.   They invest in tech firms back home and share technological expertise.   Personally I see nothing wrong with that, but it certainly shows that the industry's scare tactic that "They'll go work for our foreign competitors if we don't give them green cards" is silly.
Saxenian's survey finding that the immigrants share technological knowledge with firms in their home countries directly counters the industry's warning that if foreign students in the U.S. don't get green cards, "They'll take their knowledge back home.".   Moreover, that warning is hypocritical, since the firms making this claim have thriving R&D centers in [Red China], India, Russia and many others countries, and thus they too are providing technical knowledge that will be used by "our competitors" in those countries.
**** IEEE-USA does not represent the views of most programmers and engineers.   Therefore Congress should not assume that IEEE-USA's support for the EB green card program means that most programmers and engineers share that view.   They don't; on the contrary, the Programmers Guild, for instance, has complained about EB for years. ****
IEEE-USA was a major critic of the H-1B program during the 1990s.   However, in 2000 they came under heavy pressure from the IEEE parent organization, which is dominated by industry and academic types with a vested interest in foreign worker programs, to tone down their stance on these issues.   In response, they developed their "H-1B no, green cards yes" call.   This was especially saddening, as IEEE-USA had previously pointed to the adverse impact of H-1B on older engineers (over age 40 or even 35), and now it was supporting a policy that would impact those older Americans even more.   I'll cover the details below.
What makes the IEEE-USA action particularly insidious is that members of Congress will likely take IEEE-USA's views as representative among programmers and engineers in general (or for that matter, among IEEE-USA members), which is absolutely not the case.   The Programmers Guild opposes expansions of the EB green card program (an example).   PG has been instrumental in exposing [Cohen & Grigsby's 7th annual seminar on employment and immigration law] and in objecting to the bogus job ads discussed earlier.   (In fact, the HP ads I mentioned also are shown on the PG web page.)
**** Expansion of the EB green card program would be unwarranted and harmful. ****
As noted earlier, there is just as much abuse of the EB green card programs as there is of H-1B.   Therefore the employers who make use of the EB green card programs are NOT more "deserving" of congressional help than those who merely sponsor their workers for H-1B visas.   Clearly, then, the proposals to expand the EB green card programs would NOT a "safe" alternative to expanding H-1B.
Expansion of the EB green card program would be harmful, in two major ways:
1.  Some argue that by giving the foreign workers green cards, it would eliminate their exploitability and thus would not make them preferrable to Americans in employer hiring.  However, this argument over-looks the key point that the foreign workers are YOUNG.   As I've discussed before, one of the main reasons employers like to hire the foreign workers is that it enables them to avoid hiring older (age 35 and over) Americans.   A young green card holder is still young, thus still a job killer for older Americans.
Most of the proposals in Congress for expanding the EB green card program would give automatic green cards to new foreign graduates of U.S. universities.   The details vary, but the key point is that these new graduates are almost all YOUNG.   Thus the proposals would have a major adverse impact on Americans.
2. A program giving automatic green cards to foreign students would create its own demand.   The proposals in Congress could result in hundreds of thousands more green cards granted each year.
IEEE pdf
more on Cohen & Grigsby
Fragomen 1
Fragomen 2
Fragomen 3
Fragomen 4
2005-03-31: Fragomen
2005-12-22: Fragomen
2006-02-26: Fragomen
2006-03-10: Fragomen
2008-06-02: Fragomen
2008-06-10: Fragomen
2008-06-24: Fragomen
2008-07-04: Fragomen
2008-07-06: Fragomen
2008-07-07: Fragomen
2008-07-08: Fragomen
campaign contributions made by Fragomen

Hirelings, slaves, immigration and housing foreclosures

V Dare fund-raising appeal

  "A recent study of large companies reached the interesting conclusion that executive pay correlates much more closely to the salaries of the compensation committee than it does to the company's actual performance." --- Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pg 113 (referencing O'Reilly, Mein, & Crystal 1988 "CEO Compensation as Tournament & Social Comparison" _Administrative Science Quarterly_ vol 33 pg 257)  



Roland Piquepaille _Ziff Davis_
Miniaturized DNA "sewing machines" developed in Japan
Royal Society of Chemistry press release
Colin Barras: New Scientist (with videos)

Ian Welsh _Fire Dog Lake_
Stagnant inflation-adjusted hourly earnings (with graphs)
"So, if you're [the average] slob, you haven't had a raise in over 30 years.   In fact, your real wage peaked over 30 years ago and it's never recovered.   This would be ok if the USA hadn't [on average] been getting richer, getting more productive, ever since then, but I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that, well, actually, productivity and whatnot has kept going up.   Yet somehow [average] wages didn't...   we now produce twice the real GDP/barrel of oil we did in the 1970s..."
Thomas Sowell: Dangerous Demagoguery part 2
Thomas Sowell: That "Top One Percent"
Thomas Sowell: Income confusion
Walter E. Williams: Poverty Hype
Walter E. Williams: Income mobility
Walter E. Williams: Are the poor getting poorer?

Prieur du Plessis _Market Oracle_
financial markets reeling from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac collapse and evitable government bail-out

Robert Jackman _Libertarian Enterprise_
Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel: DDGS co-product of ethanol production as fish food

Bob Strodtbeck _Best Syndication_
Every 4 years I become the harbinger of doom

Jack Hunter _Charleston SC City Paper_
Choices for president: Big Government, Bigger Government, and Bob Barr

Doug Daniels _Campaigns & Elections_
Bob Barr set to make debate push


Larry Dignan _Ziff Davis_
Apple sold 1M iPhone 3Gs in 3 days: 400K in USA & 600K over-seas

Leslie d'Monte _Business Standard_
Tata - Nielsen out-sourcing deal in the eye of a storm
coverage of Nielsen on June 19th
coverage of Nielsen on June 21st
coverage of Nielsen on June 23th
coverage of Nielsen on June 25th
coverage of Nielsen on June 26th
coverage of Nielsen on July 1st
coverage of Nielsen on July 3rd
coverage of Nielsen on July 7th
class action against Tata

Gilles d'Aymery _Swans_
What's Your Breaking Point?

David Weigel _Reason_
At the r3VOLution March and reUnion
"A number of Paul-inspired congressional campaigns, like Maryland's Collins Bailey and Texas's John Culberson had supporters walking the field...   The message of the march, according to the official literature, was to be 'Ron Paul's message of peace, prosperity and freedom through adherence to the Constitution.'   But the accepted version of that message implied that all 3 of those things were only possible with rigid national sovereignty, controlled borders, and a narrow vision of trade.   The final speech before Paul's came from Chuck Baldwin, the Pensacola, Florida pastor and Constitution Party candidate, who used the little time he had (graciously having given some of his minutes to Paul) to make a concise national sovereignty pitch.   'You're either a globalist or you're an American.', Baldwin said.   'And I... am an American!'   Some of the Baldwin boosters in the crowd (many from Florida) started chanting 'USA! USA!'.   Some of the people I talked to at the march wondered why Bob Barr had no presence there... going to Freedom Fest instead..."

2008-07-14 13:01PDT (16:01EDT) (20:01GMT)
Alistair Barr _MarketWatch_
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac equity holders may be wiped out

2008-07-14 13:33PDT (16:33EDT) (20:33GMT)
Kat Gibson _MarketWatch_
US stocks dropped, particularly bank stocks after IndyMac Bancorp failure and Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac bail-out
Bank of India Corp. led losers at 7%.   Coca-Cola up 1.4%.
more on bank worries

_Valley Wag_
Wall Street Journal laying off tech reporters

_Miami Herald_
In recruiting, sunshine is a plus in Florida, school systems aren't

2008-07-14 (5768 Tamuz 11)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
"Alternatives" to Logic Won't Work

  "Fannie & Freddie are fundamentally sound, they are not in danger of going under... I do think their prospects going forward are very solid." --- Barney Frank 2008-07-14 (Glenn Beck, Kevin Balfe, Steve Burguiere, Dan Andros, Brian Sack, Alan Bura, Pat Gray, David Harsanyi, Carol Lynne, Carl Williott, Claire Calzonetti, Evan Cutler, Joseph Kerry, Kelly Thompson, R.J. Pestritto, Tyler Grimm, Darran Foster, John Bobey, Paul Starke & Paul E. Nunn 2009 _Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government_ pg179 citing Stephen Labaton 2003-09-11 "New Agency Proposed to OverSee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae" _NY Slimes_ _AP_ "12% of HomeOwners Behind on Mortgages" _CBS_ 2009-03-05 https://www.cbsews.com/stories/2009/03/05/business/main4844773.html Barney Frank interview by Bill O'Reilly 2008-10-02 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432173,0.html WSJ 2008-10-02 "What They Said about Fan & Fred" https://online.wsj.com/article/SB122290574391296381.html)  


2008-07-15: 16 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

Chris Shunk _Auto web log_
GM to cut 20% of white collar employees, cut truck production by over 300K

Burton Frierson _Reuters_
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, warned congress of risks to growth
Greg Robb: MarketWatch
"The Fed is worried that high oil prices, combined with the weak dollar, will increase business costs and prices.   At the same time, it could make workers demand higher compensation because of the more expensive cost of living."

2008-07-15 (5768 Tamuz 12)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Are facts obsolete?
"increasing numbers of economists and historians have concluded that New Deal policies are what prolonged the Great Depression.   Putting new restrictions of international trade, in order to save American jobs?   That was done by Herbert Hoover, when he signed the Hawley-Smoot tariff when the unemployment rate was 9%.   The next year the unemployment rate was 16% and, before the Great Depression was over, unemployment hit 25%...   Politicians' top priority is to solve their own problem, which is how to get elected and then re-elected."

  "By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.   The process engages all of the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner that not one man in a million can diagnose." --- John Maynard Keynes 1920  



Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Consumer prices steeply up, but PPI and CPI returning closer to each other

2008-07-16 11:39PDT (14:39EDT0 (18:39GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Home builders index drops to another record low

James Carlini _Midwest Business Tech News_
Commercial properties and bank failures: More ghost equity lost

2008-07-16 14:45PDT (17:45EDT) (21:45GMT)
William L. Watts & Lisa Twaronite _MarketWatch_
Dollar gets help from Fed Open Market Committee minutes, data, stocks, oil
"In afternoon trading, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of 6 of its major rivals, was at 72.027, up from 71.737 late Tuesday...   The euro was buying $1.5823, down from $1.5928 in London earlier Wednesday and $1.5899 in late North American trading Tuesday.   The euro notched another all-time high against the greenback Tuesday near $1.6036.   The dollar was trading at 105.03 yen, up from 103.84 yen in London and 104.71 late Tuesday.   The dollar also bought 1.0167 Swiss francs, up from 1.0044 francs in London...   The British pound was weaker against the dollar, slipping to $1.9988 from $2.0025 in London.   U.K. labor market data released Wednesday morning showed an unexpected June rise in jobless claimants of 15,500, compared to expectations for a 10K rise.   Economists said the data under-scored expectations Britain's once-robust labor market is beginning to deteriorate as signs grow that consumption is likely to slow significantly in coming months.   The data also showed that average earnings excluding bonuses rose at a 3.8% annual rate in the 3 months ending in May, slowing from 3.9% in the 3 months to April -- a slow-down that might provide a modicum of comfort to Bank of England policy-makers worried that surging, near-term inflation pressures could feed through to the wage-setting process, said Ben Read, an economists at the Center for Economic and Business Research."

Tom Tancredo _V Dare_
Increase in Mexican Asylum Applicants: Early Sign of a Failed State

2008-07-16 (5768 Tamuz 13)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Poaching humans: Recruiting

2008-07-16 (5768 Tamuz 13)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Autism cures?

2008-07-16 (5768 Tamuz 13)
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard _London Telegraph_
USA faces global funding crisis warns Merrill Lynch

2008-07-16 (5768 Tamuz 13)
Lindsay Renick Mayer _Open Secrets_
Fanie Mae and Freddie Mac invest in Democrats/Reds/leftists

2008-07-16 (5768 Tamuz 13)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Oklahoma Rebellion, the War of 1861, and the 9th and 10th amendments
"Federal usurpation goes beyond anything the Constitution's framers would have imagined.   James Madison, explaining the constitution, in Federalist Paper 45, said, 'The powers delegated... to the federal government are few and defined.   Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.   The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce...   The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.'   Thomas Jefferson emphasized that the states are not 'subordinate' to the national government, but rather the 2 are 'coordinate departments of one simple and integral whole...   The one is the domestic, the other the foreign branch of the same government.'"


2008-07-17 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 475,954 in the week ending July 12, an increase of 74,349 from the previous week.   There were 383,839 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3% during the week ending July 5, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,125,165, an increase of 267,660 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,581,098.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending June 28."

Greg Ip _Wall Street Journal_
The Declining Value of Your College Degree
Arizona Republic
Chicagoland Daily Herald
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
remarkably frank WSJ article on age, H-1B, "commoditization"

Even many activist critics of the H-1B work visa fail to understand that one of its central attractions to employers is as a tool to avoid hiring older (age 35+) American programmers and engineers.   Yet it couldn't be simpler and more obvious:
(a) young workers cost less than older ones;
(b) the vast majority of H-1Bs are young;
(c) therefore employers want to hire H-1Bs, to avoid hiring the older and thus more expensive U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
IOW, when employers tell Congress there is a shortage of tech workers, they mean a shortage of young, cheap ones.
Those in Congress who may wish to understand the H-1B/age connection need look no further than the [linked] on-line Wall Street Journal column by Greg Ip, who profiles computer science degree holder Bea Dewing.   The complexities of H-1B can make it difficult to explain in sound bite terms, but one couldn't ask for a better sound bite than that provided by Dewing's case: After being laid off by Sprint, she was called back after 2 years of failing to find work in her field, to fill a position similar to her old job -- at one-third her old salary.
Ip describes Dewing's professional expertise as having been "commoditized".   But that is merely a way of saying that lots of H-1Bs with her expertise have been imported to compete with her (and many are competing over-seas too), as Ip points out:

Similarly, some computer-science graduates strike it rich.   But their skills are not as rare as they were in the early 1980s, when the discipline took off, and graduates today must contend with competition from hundreds of thousands of similarly qualified foreign workers in the U.S.A. or over-seas.

It's not that Dewing's expertise is "low-end".   Data-base design didn't used to be viewed that way.   Instead, it's just plain numbers.   The employers bring in workers from abroad with the goal of commoditizing tech workers, i.e. holding their wages down.   Recall that former Fed chair Alan Greenspan has explicitly described this as the goal of the H-1B program, to keep wages down in the tech professions.   American brain surgeons would become commodities too, if enough of their foreign colleagues were brought to the U.S.A.
And, BTW, so eventually may be the fate of Ip's Richard Spitzer, the well-paid bond expert.   His knowledge may be highly arcane, but it's nothing that can't be picked up by someone in India at half the cost.   An Indian friend tells me that Wall Street firms are now hiring "quants" -- mathematicians who do the highly sophisticated financial modeling that drives hedge funds and the like -- in India at low cost.   These are top graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, "India's MIT".
If Congress wants to do the right thing instead of the expedient thing (the latter meaning making nice with the industry lobbyists so as to keep the campaign contributions rolling in), it should read Ip's on-point analysis.   And remember, it applies not only to H-1B but also to employement-based green cards; proposals in Congress to give fast-track green cards to new foreign graduates of U.S. universities by their very nature focus on the young, and thus would further squeeze people like Dewing.


Richard Winger _Ballot Access News_
Bob Barr campaign filed suit against Oklahoma to get name on ballot

James Joyner _Outside the Belt-Way_
notes from Bob Barr conference call

_Trail Blazers Web Log_
Bob Barr campaigning in Texas starting Saturday

Paul McDougall _Information Week_
USCIS/State department to offer 25K green cards to Iraqi contractors
"Applicants for the visas must submit to a background check [but not a proper background investigation] by the Department of Homeland Security.   Iraqi contractors' spouses and children are also eligible for permanent resident status.   If each eligible contractor has, on average, a family of 4, the United States could see an influx of up to 100K Iraqis over the next 5 years.   [No mention is made of the statute which created these visas or permitted the increase in numbers of visas."

_Green Valley News_
Illegal aliens more frequently using cellular phones to call for emergency aid

Vivek Wadhwa _American_
We are bringing in a few of the world's smartest people, and hundreds of thousands who aren't, and sending them back
"The problem is that there are more than 1M [foreign] workers and their families in the United States who are waiting for these permanent resident visas, but there are hardly any visas available and the back-log is rapidly increasing...   We found that the trend Saxenian documented had become a nationwide phenomenon [as bright, highly-skilled US citizens were displaced].   In over 25% of tech companies founded in the United States from 1995 to 2005, the chief executive or lead technologist was foreign-born.   In 2005, these companies generated $52G in revenue and employed 450K workers [both foreign-born and US citizens].   In some industries, such as semiconductors, the numbers were much higher -- immigrants founded 35% of start-ups.   In Silicon Valley, the percentage of immigrant-founded start-ups had increased to 52%.   When we looked into the backgrounds of these immigrant founders, we found that they tended to be highly educated -- 96% held bachelor's degrees and 74% held a graduate or post-graduate degree.   And 75% of these degrees were in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM].   The vast majority of these company founders didn't come to the United States as entrepreneurs -- 52% came to study, 40% came to work, and 6% came for family reasons.   Only 1.6% came to start companies in America.   They found that the United States provided a fertile environment for entrepreneurship...   they typically started their companies around 13 years after arriving in the country...   In 2006, foreign nationals residing in the United States were named as inventors or co-inventors in an astounding 26% of patent applications filed in the United States.   This increased from 8% in 1998.   Some U.S. corporations had foreign nationals contribute to a majority of their patent applications -- such as Qualcomm at 72%, Merck at 65%, GE at 64%, and Cisco at 60%.   Over 40% of the international patent applications filed by the U.S. government had foreign authors.   In 1998, 11% of these global patent applications had a Chinese inventor or co-inventor.   By 2006 this... had increased to almost 17%.   The contribution of Indians increased from 9% to 14% in the same period.   To put these numbers into perspective, it is worth noting that Indians and Chinese both constitute less than 1% of the U.S. population, and census data show that 82% of Indian immigrants arrived in the United States after 1980...   In GE's Jack Welch Technology Center in Bangalore, 34% of the R&D staff have returned from the United States.   So have 50% of those with a Ph.D. at IBM research in Bangalore.   And so are the managers of [Red China's] top engineering, technology, and biotech companies...   there are over 250K foreign students studying in our universities...   Moreover, I know from my experience as a tech CEO [bodyshopper] that H-1Bs are cheaper than domestic hires.   Technically, these workers are supposed to be paid a 'prevailing wage', but this mechanism is riddled with loop-holes.   In the tech world, salaries vary widely based on skill and competence [and firm size and location].   Yet the prevailing wage concept works on average salaries, so you can hire a super-star for the cost of an average worker.   Add to this the inability of an H-1B employee to jump ship and you have a strong incentive to hire workers on these visas.   [All we have to do is reduce the numbers of student, exchange and work visas, conduct proper background investigations and health examinations on every one, and accept only the truly best and brightest.]"

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
US Government Making Americans UnSafe

2008-07-17 15:14PDT (18:14EDT) (22:14GMT)
Pradeep Ratan _CIO_/_PC World_
Indian bodyshops and off-shoring outfits experiencing explosive growth
"The Infosys [head-count] rose from 1100 in 1996 to 91,187 in 2008 April, the figure for TCS [Tata] is 3000 to 111,407 in 12 years, and for Wipro 3000+ to 82,122."
class action against Tata
Tata median salaries by city
Wipro median salaries by city
Infosys median salaries by city


David Guo _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Out-Sourcing Is All About the Money
"Vivek Wadhwa, an adjunct professor at the Duke University Pratt School for Engineering, doesn't buy into the noble notion that U.S. companies such as MSFT go over-seas because the American job pool doesn't have the required, high-end skills.   No, he told Pittsburgh Technology Council members, the off-shore trend can be explained with a more straightforward reason.   'The companies went there', Mr. Wadhwa said, 'because the labor is cheaper.   That's the bottom line.'   'Lou Dobbs can moan all he wants to, but out-sourcing is going to happen, like it or not.', he added, referring to the CNN commentator.   'It's all about the money.'   Unlike many in the U.S. tech industry, Mr. Wadwha doesn't support an easing of quota-based H-1B visa rules.   Instead, he would like to see the program scrapped for an expanded green card or permanent visa package [so that the flood of labor increases, thus increasing the harm to highly-skilled US workers, while stemming abuses to visa-holders]."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Wadhwa found a bug in his patent study

For those whose memory needs refreshing, Vivek Wadhwa is a former tech CEO [bodyshopper] turned academic and industry analyst.   He and I sharply disagree on the issue at hand here, employment-based (EB) green cards.   Yet we agree on the inherent problems with the H-1B work visa and the lack of validity to the industry claim of a tech labor shortage, and I have praised him for having the willingness to think "outside the box" on foreign worker issues.   Not only has this former CEO taken an entirely fresh look at foreign worker programs, but also he has pioneered some clever research methods.
Here I must praise Vivek again, for (apparently) tracking down and admitting a major error in one of the most cited of his research works, concerning the number of [international] patent applications authored or coauthored by foreign nationals.
In previously reviewing that study, I had first noted that Vivek had not submitted this or any other of his research reports for peer review by a scientific journal.   It is customary to release "working papers" for work in progress, but eventually one should submit one's work for academic peer review.   This stringent process can uncover methodological problems, produce suggestions for deeper, more meaningful analysis, and strengthen relations to previous work done by others.
The need for research peer review is particularly acute in cases such as Vivek's patent study, in which there seem to be major problems with the data.   I wrote at the time,

Now, what about [Wadhwa's] Finding 1, that foreign-born participation in patenting has sky-rocketed in just 8 years?   Here's [his] exact statement:
Foreign nationals residing in the United States were named as inventors or co-inventors in 25.6% of international patent applications filed from the United States in 2006.   This represents an increase from 7.6% in 1998.

These startling figures would be a red flag to most academic researchers.   It is simply too large a jump in too short a time period.   Unfortunately, the authors here took it at face value...
Any academic researcher's first suspicion in such a situation would be that the problem is that there was some dramatic change in the way the data was collected, i.e. that there was a different system in place in 1998 than in 2006, and thus the two data sets are incomparable.   Yet, the authors did not raise this question, nor did they posit any other explanation for the seemingly anomalous finding.   Given that it was 1 of their 2 key findings, they should have addressed this striking anomaly.   Had they submitted their work for anonymous peer review, the anomaly would have met with strong objections from the reviewers.

I later noticed that on the last page of his report, Vivek had mentioned that in the 1998 data-base, 60% of the data was missing.   Serious academic researchers would not touch such unreliable data.
Well, in the [more recent] article in American Magazine, Vivek wrote:

The question was: Why was the number of foreign-national inventors increasing so dramatically -- 337% over 8 years?
To answer this, we had to develop our own methodology to estimate the population of skilled immigrants from which such inventors may originate.
We found that at the end of 2006, there were 200K employment-based principals waiting for labor certification, which is the first step in the U.S. immigration process.   The number of pending I-140 applications, the second step of the immigration process, stood at 50,132.   This was over 7 times the number in 1996. The number of employment-based...

IOW, Vivek is apparently saying that the the patent anomaly he had found earlier was due to what amounts to an accounting problem.   The normal flow from foreign-national to green card status had been back-logged, thus inflating the count of foreign-national inventors.
I'm not sure that this is the correct explanation.   The immigration status -- U.S. citizen, green card holder, other -- is probably not reliably reported in the patent applications.   (Note that the term "foreign national" in the U.S.A. applies only to those who are not U.S. citizens [by birth or naturalization].)   Also, there were major green card back-logs in the late 1990s, too, further complicating the comparison.   Moreover, as I pointed out at the time, the foreign inventors in the U.S.A. fall mainly into the green card categories that do not have inordinate back-logs.
Nevertheless, Vivek seems to be conceding that his study's claim of a precipitous rise in patent activity by foreign workers in the U.S.A. was too good (from the POV of advocates of tech immigration) to be true.   Whether for the reasons Vivek now speculates or the ones I've cited, Vivek's original analysis appears to have been invalid.
Accordingly, Vivek seems not to have mentioned the patent issue with the reporter in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece.   In that article, and in his own [recent] article, he does make a point of tech immigrant entrepreneurship.   I've discussed this before in detail, but a summary is that even Vivek conceded, in the Sloan Industry Centers discussion group, that his data with UCB professor AnnaLee Saxenian, as well as with Saxenian's earlier research show that the immigrants and natives have essentially the same per-capita rates of entrepreneurial activity.   And once again, though I did support bringing in "the best and the brightest" from abroad, they comprise only a very small percentage of foreign workers, and they have special green card categories that have reasonably short waiting periods.
The proposals in Congress to liberalize the EB green card programs focus on foreign students, who overwhelmingly are young, so that the proposals would exacerbate the rampant age discrimination currently fueled by H-1B.   Vivek agrees, remarking in the Industry Centers group "The solution isn't to give green cards to every foreign student that comes to the U.S.A.; this will create new problems.   But we do need to create a direct path to permanent residence for those that American companies want to and need to hire."   Again, I disagree with the latter assertion.

USCIS glossary (pdf)
Foreign national.   An individual who is a citizen of a country other than the United States.
USCIS: How Do I Bring My Child, Son or Daughter to Live in the United States?
A legal immigrant (or "lawful permanent resident") is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States.   There is a three-step process for your child or son or daughter to become a legal immigrant.
US State Department
A. For the purposes of consular notification, a "foreign national" is any person who is not a U.S. citizen.
Q. Is a foreign national the same as an "alien?"
A. Yes.   The terms "foreign national" and "alien" are used interchangeably.
Q. Is a person with a U.S. "green card" considered a foreign national?
A. Yes.   Lawful permanent resident aliens, who have a resident alien registration card (USCIS Form I-551), commonly known as a "green card," retain their foreign nationality and must be considered "foreign nationals" for the purposes of consular notification.
Montana State University
"Foreign National" means a person who is not a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien.   (See Section 15-9.)
Scotsman Guide
An individual who is currently in the country but who has not been granted the legal right to permanent residency.
U of MO Export Control Definitions
Foreign National - is a foreign citizen, other than one who is:
A U.S. citizen,
A U.S. national,
A lawful permanent resident alien of the United States (i.e., a foreign national with a Green Card, a.k.a., a Permanent Resident Card), Lawfully admitted to the United States as a refugee,
Granted asylum by the United States or
Lawfully admitted to the United States as a special, temporary agricultural worker.
Ana Claudia Nascimento
A citizen of another country who peridiocally visits the United States and is purchasing a property to reside in during visiting to the USA...
A non-US citizen.   Foreign nationals are also known as aliens and are sometimes called foreigners.
Jimbo Wales's Wikipedia
A foreign national is a person present in a country who does not currently have the right to permanent residency of that country.
So, depending on context, a "foreign national" is a non-citizen who may or may not have a green card.

_Pacific Magazine_
US DoL ordered Sablan Construction to pay Filippino workers on Mariana Islands the over-time pay due them
Honolulu Advertiser

Henry Mintzberg _Toronto Globe & Mail_
Managements' short-term gains produce long-term pain
"Productivity is a measure of output per hour worked.   So a company that fires all its workers and then ships from stock can look very productive -- until it runs outs of stock.   Of course, no company can do that, but many U.S. companies have been shedding workers and middle managers in great numbers -- the figures for this January were up 19% from a year earlier."

Mike DiCello _Injury Board_
10 Worst Protection Rackets
Randy Diamond: Palm Beach Post
Jeremy Styron: SC UpState Today
Denver Post
Anita Lee: Biloxi MS Sun Herald
"1) Allstate; 2) Unum; 3) AIG; 4) State Farm; 5) Conseco; 6) Wellpoint; 7) Farmers; 8) United Health; 9) Torchmark; and 10) Liberty Mutual...   The insurance industry takes in over $1T in premiums every year.   It has $3.8T in assets, more than the GDPs of all but two countries.   The CEOs of the top 10 property / casualty firms earned an average of $8.9M in 2007.   The CEOs of the top 10 life / health insurance earned an average of $9.1M."

2008-07-18 08:33PDT (11:33EDT) (15:33GMT)
Vivan Wai-yin Kwok _Forbes_
Indian bodyshops in funk because they can't transfer knowledge and wealth from USA faster

_American Renaissance_
Degree-holding immigrants to Canada less likely to find work
"Native-born Canadians holding a university degree had an employment rate of 90.7%.   The study found that immigrants who were educated in western countries were more likely to find work than those educated elsewhere.   Immigrants' employment rate varied depending on their country of origin: United States: 77.8%, Europe: 73.8%, Asia: 65.5%, Latin America: 59.7%, Africa: 50.9%.   But even immigrants who received their degree at a Canadian university had lower employment rates than native-born Canadians."

2008-07-18 (5768 Tamuz 15)
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo _Jewish World Review_
The Sanctification and Importance of Time

S&P 5001,260.68
10-year US T-Bond4.08%
crude oil$128.88/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).


Becky Akers _Lew Rockwell_
Wretched Rangel's Angles and Wrangles
David Kocieniewski: NY Times: Rangel's 4 rent-controlled apartments

  "Over 75 years ago, American doctors managed to capitalize on the desire for quality in medicine to blunt the forces of competition.   Following the Flexner Report in 1911, the American Medical Association (AMA) worked tirelessly to discourage proprietary medical schools & thereby helped to restrict the number of doctors to levels well below what a free market would allow.   The result, as Simon Kuznets & Milton Friedman concluded in a massive study, was to push doctors' earnings well above competitive levels by 1929." --- Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pp 119-120 (referencing Simon Kuznets & Milton Friedman 1945 _Income from Independent Professional Practice_)  



"Dark Knight" earned $155.34M at the box office since opening Friday

_Pacific Magazine_
Democrat "leadership" exempted Marianas from visa caps so their friends could have a plentiful supply of cheap, easily brow-beaten labor
Saipan Tribune
"Under the new federalized immigration law, the CNMI can bring in as many [cheap] alien workers as employers [want] under H-1B and H-2B visa categories during the transition period, according to federal Labor Ombudsman Jim Benedetto"

Mark Gruenberg _WorkDay Minnesota_
DoL wage and hour enforcement has been lax says GAO
George Miller: House committee on education & labor
GAO report (pdf)
"In a contentious July 15 House Education and Labor Committee hearing, probers for the non-partisan Government Accountability Office revealed how the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division routinely didn't count complaints, sent workers with legitimate gripes to private lawyers, and closed almost half of all complaints with perfunctory phone calls to employers to try to settle cases.   The workers lost out, and lost money.   Kim Bobo, executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice organization -- which goes to bat in counseling centers for low-income workers nationwide -- added that the wage and hour agency is so understaffed that it does fewer probes than the year it was founded, 1941...   The Wage and Hour Division's role is important.   It is supposed to enforce the 70-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act, the law that established the minimum wage and the right to overtime after 40-hour weeks.   But low-wage workers are often victims of the lack of enforcement, GAO probers Anne Marie Lasowski and Greg Kutz testified.   There's another way that workers are cheated besides missed calls or referrals to lawyers whom they can't afford, the GAO probers said.   The agency is so under-staffed with attorneys to follow up cases that many times the employer wins, and the worker gets nothing, because the statute of limitations runs out before DoL can file a complaint...   That drop, detailed in her GAO report, showed the Wage and Hour Division handled 47,000 cases in 1997 and 30,000 last year.   Bobo testified the division handled 48,000 cases in 1941.   It probed 1 of every 8 work-sites then, she said.   The agency also doesn't use any data, either from its own records or from outside groups -- such as unions and Bobo's group -- to target repeat violators, the GAO report added.   That's despite the fact that repeat violators are known, by industry, from both outside reports and from a study DoL commissioned a decade ago, Lasowski noted.   Workers routinely are cheated of the minimum wage, over-time, or both, in poultry processing, the garment trades, agriculture, hotels and restaurants and health care [nearly all fields employing high proportions of illegal aliens].   About 19% of low wage workers, as defined by researchers in studies commissioned by WHD, were foreign born in 2007."

Mike Sandman
A Phone Man's View on the US Economy


Patrick Thibodeau & Norm Matloff _Computer World_/_IDG_
Interview with Norm Matloff
"Even in 1998, there were a number of people who just weren't able to get work.   These were generally people who were over 40, many well qualified in the classical sense -- years of significant experience.   It was clear, even then, that what the industry wanted was cheap labor..."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"One small correction concerning the Chinese language: I am primarily a Cantonese speaker, not Mandarin.   I can get by in the latter (including speaking to Thibodeau's boss, CW editor Don Tennant at a conference last Fall, to the amusement of an Indian panelist), but feel more comfortable in Cantonese."

"Dark Knight" brought in $158,411,483 since Friday at box offices

2008-07-21 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
India tries to sneak unlimited visas in the back-door
Lou Dobbs: An outrageous effort tonight, trying to bring in more foreign labor at the expense of middle class workers.   Free trade advocates in Geneva telling America to change our policy and raise the number of temporary workers allowed into our country.   Bill Tucker has our report.
Bill Tucker: Trade agreements and immigration policy wouldn't seem to have much in common.   But workers and jobs are apparently becoming just commodities to be traded.   The latest round of trade within the World Trade Organization [WTO] known as the Doha Round, India is pressing the United States to create a new guest worker visa for highly skilled workers, effectively skirting the cap on the H-1B Visa.
It is a demand that relatively few people outside of trade negotiators are aware of, and one expert in out-sourcing is horrified.
Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology: I just find it amazing and unbelieveable that -- that we have this opaque and un-Democratic process set up.

Bill Tucker: U.S. trade negotiators refused to discuss the details of any negotiations at this point.   If a new type of visa were created, it wouldn't be the first created by a trade agreement.   In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement created the TN visa, allowing workers from Canada and Mexico to work in the United States indefinitely.
And in virtually every trade agreement since, there has been a provision allowing guest workers into the United States under what's known as trade and services.   According to one group that lobbies for a more restricted immigration policy, such provisions benefit foreign companies that provide oing services.
Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies: We're giving concessions to companies, so that they can establish a trade foothold in the United States. not to hire Americans and benefit our economy, but to bring in workers from abroad.

Bill Tucker: 6,800 guest-worker visas were part of the free trade agreement with Singapore and Chile.
Bill Tucker: But those visas never made it into the final trade agreement because of a number of senators who were angry at the visas being included in the trade agreement, prompting a warning from several senators, Lou, against the inclusion of high-skilled visas in trade agreements in the future.
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
It seems like it's one outrage after another these days.   And the biggest outrage of all is that almost no one is reporting it.
No one except Lou Dobbs, that is.   Though uttering his name in flattering terms won't win one friends and help one influence people at a university faculty party, the fact is that these people are in denial.   As professor Hira points out, H-1B and off-shoring have come to epitomize the gradual -- maybe I should say rapid -- deterioration of our democracy.
India has tried to use the Doha Round of the WTO trade talks to slip in an unlimited worker visa, with no participation on the Hill at this point.   IIRC, the president no longer has fast-track trade authority, under which the Senate previously could not vet trade agreements on a point-by-point basis, but still, it might be difficult to block something like this once approved by the negotiating parties.
The Dobbs show mentions NAFTA, but the history for this kind of thing goes even further back, to H-1B itself.   [Some believe that the GATT supposedly forbids the U.S.A. from ever reducing the yearly H-1B cap below 65K.]   Personally I don't think the language says that, but the consensus in DC, even among critics of the H-1B program [like some of the IEEE-USA lobbyists and Kim Berry of Programmers Guild], is that it does.   OTOH, if the GATT is indeed binding, then guess what -- it requires the U.S.A. to impose on ALL H-1B employers the restrictions currently applied only to the minuscule category of H-1B-dependent firms.   In DC, one can have one's cake and eat it too, as long as one is an industry lobbyist.   See my Michigan Journal of Law Reform article (pdf).
BTW, I believe the special H-1B category for Singapore to get enacted, though the one for Chile was blocked after the Senate finally decided it politically wise to do so [and yet, USCIS has been applying the numbers of the agreement].


Defined Benefit Pensions Plan Freezes Affect Millions of Participants and Pose Retirement Income Challenges
"We have prepared this report under the Comptroller General's authority as part of our ongoing reassessment of risks associated with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) single-employer pension insurance program, which, in 2003, we placed on our high-risk list of programs that need broad-based transformations and warrant the attention of Congress and the executive branch."

_Conference Board_
The Conference Board U.S. Leading Index Decreased 0.1%

_Global Info_/_ThirdWorldNetwork Info Service on Trade & WTO Issues_
Negotiating rates of tariff rate reductions
"Conducting an exercise of applying a coefficient 8 on the US and EU, and coefficient 22 on developing countries shows interesting results.   The EU's average bound industrial tariff is 3.9%.   Applying a coefficient 8 on this would reduce it to 2.6%, indicating a cut by 33%.   The same coefficient 8 applied to the average US tariff of 3.2% would mean a cut by 29% to a new level of 2.2%.   Japan has an average 2.3% tariff and applying a coefficient 8 would cut this to 1.7% or by 22%.   On average, the 3 major developed country members of the WTO would have to cut their average bound industrial tariffs by only a very modest 28%, should a coefficient of 8 apply to them.   OTOH, if a coefficient of 22 is used for a developing country like Brazil with an average tariff of 31%, there would be a cut in average tariff of 58% (from 31% to 13%).   For India, with average tariff of 34%, the cut would be 61% (from 34% to 13%).   For Indonesia, with an average tariff of 36%, the cut would be 62% (from 36% to 14%).   The average cut for these 3 countries is 58%-62%.   Those developing countries which have higher average tariffs would have to undertake even steeper percentage reductions."

2008-07-21 (5768 Tamuz 18)
Mitch Albom _Jewish World Review_
A grim exchange illustrates a key difference

2008-07-21 (5768 Tamuz 18)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
Spending your kids' money

2008-07-22: 15 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

Rob Sanchez _V Dare_/_Job Destruction News-Letter_
Anthony Weiner (D-NY) rewarded for proposal to let foreign babes do modelling that American girls would be happy to do
"the downside of the bill: it would free up about an equal number of H-1B visas that could be used to import more programmers and engineers...   It appears that Weiner is attracting a lot of fans in the modeling business, at least judging by the growing number of contributions he is getting from modeling agencies.   Cory Bautista of NY Models came up with a $1,500 donation."

_Los Angeles Times_
Bob Barr for president
"Barr is running as a Libertarian because he thinks the Republican Party -- which he once served with such enthusiasm that his house and offices over-flow with elephant decor -- has run off the rails.   In fact, as much as he despised Clinton, Barr thinks President Bush is worse. &nbnsp; 'What George W. Bush has done to the fabric of our constitutional government, to separation of powers, to a government of limited powers is absolutely unforgivable.', he said...   He is courting the young, irreverent voters who backed representative Ron Paul (R-TX), a former contender for president whom Barr calls one of his best friends."

2008-07-22 (5768 Tamuz 19)
Thomas Sowell _Abilene Reporter News_
Bankrupt "Exploiters" part 1
Conservative Voice
Real Clear Politics
National Review
Town Hall
Jewish World Review
"Some people are more easily overwhelmed than others, especially when they find statistics that seem to fit their preconceptions.   But if we do what politicians and the media seldom bother to do -- stop and think -- an entirely different picture emerges."


Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1893
Federal government violates H-1B restrictions with immunity
When private employers pay H-1B visa holders less than the prevailing wage, the Department of Labor (DoL) can order the employer to pay back wages.   There can be other small penalties as well, although these usually amount to slaps on the wrist.   It's a different story when federal agencies under-pay H-1Bs, thanks to the Department of Justice (DoL), who recently deemed that the entire federal government is immune to the regulations on H-1B.
Sounds crazy, huh?
The story begins at two Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals where 11 physicians on H-1B visas were hired.   The VA paid the doctors about $101K even though the prevailing salary rates were between $124K and $165K [see note 1 at the bottom].   After several years of working at market-busting salaries a few of the foreign doctors became disgruntled and decided to complain to the DoL.   The DoL determined that the doctors were indeed being under-paid, and then ordered the VA to pay approximately $230K in back wages.   It would seem like an open and shut case since the VA admitted their guilt, and would therefore be required to pay back wages to the doctors; but that's before the Department of Justice (DoJ) came into the picture.
Read details of the DoL complaint.
The DoJ was asked to decide whether the DoL complaint had merit.   The decision skirted the merit issue entirely by stating that all federal agencies, including the VA, were protected by [the totally corrupy concept of] sovereign immunity.   Therefore it doesn't matter if the DoL complaint had merit!
The opinion (pdf) was written by Steven A. Engel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel. ... [sovereign immunity or official immunity]
The DoJ said that all federal agencies have sovereign immunity unless they voluntarily waive their right to never be prosecuted by other federal agencies.   Not surprisingly, very few federal agencies waive their right to be invulnerable to law suits...
NOTE 1: Employers and H-1B pundits often like to say that they pay their H-1Bs very good.   While that may be true in general terms, it's not true in relative to the prevailing salaries paid by career category [and with the specific credentials, experience, etc.].

Paul A. Gigot _Wall Street Journal_
Fannie Mae Gang: Leftist Enablers
"about half of the implicit [tax-victim] subsidy for Fan and Fred is pocketed by share-holders and management.   According to the Federal Reserve, the half that goes to home-owners adds up to a mere 7 basis points on mortgages.   In return for this, Fannie was able to pay no fewer than 21 of its executives more than $1M in 2002, and in 2003 Mr. Raines pocketed more than $20M.   Fannie's left-wing defenders are under-writers of crony capitalism, not affordable housing...   The abiding lesson here is what happens when you combine private profit with government power.   You create political monsters that are protected both by journalists on the left and pseudo-capitalists on Wall Street, by [leftist] Democrats and country-club Republicans.   Even now, after all of their dishonesty and failure, Fannie and Freddie could emerge from this [tax-victim] rescue more powerful than ever.   Campaigning to spare [tax-victims] from that result would represent genuine 'change', not that [some] presidential [candidates seem] interested."

2008-07-23 (5768 Tamuz 20)
Thomas Sowell _GOP USA_
Bankrupt "Exploiters" part 2
National Review
Patriot Post
Town Hall
Capitalism Magazine
Conservative Voice
Jewish World Review
"Markets often get blamed for conveying a reality that was not created by the market."

James Carlini
EMP attack more of a threat than global warming
Midwest Business Technology News

2008-07-23 (5768 Tamuz 20)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
"Black education"
"Frederick Douglass was founded in 1883 as the Colored High and Training School before it was renamed.   It is one of the nation's oldest historically black high schools.   It was a draw for Baltimore's brightest black students.   Success stories among its alumni include Thurgood Marshall, Cab Calloway, as well as several judges, congressmen and civil rights leaders...   At Frederick Douglass' founding, it didn't have the resources available today.   If blacks can achieve at a time when there was far greater poverty, gross discrimination and fewer opportunities, what says blacks cannot achieve today?   Whether we want to own up to it or not, the welfare state has done what Jim Crow, gross discrimination and poverty could not have done.   It has contributed to the break-down of the black family structure and has helped establish a set of values alien to traditional values of high moral standards, hard work and achievement."

2008-07-23 (5768 Tamuz 20)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
The Mufti of Jerusalem's Nazi ideology lives on among contemporary Islamists
"you can draw a direct line from [Haj Amin al-Husseini] to not only the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas -- groups that took up his battle against Zionism -- but to Iran, Al Qaeda and the 9/11 conspirators."

Scott Finn _WV Socialist Broadcasting_
Candidates put on last minute effort to get on ballot in WV
"In addition to Barr and Nader, the Constitution Party is trying to get its nominee, Chuck Baldwin, on the ballot."

Richard Winger _Ballot Access News_
Bob Barr & Dick Heller petitioning to get on ballot in DC

Sebastian Montes _Gaithersburg MD Business Gazette_
County police get official guide-lines on immigration
"County officers may ask someone's immigration status if they are not carrying identification, or if it is 'relevant to an investigation'.   The directive cites hate crimes, human trafficking, terrorism and 'pattern crimes' targeting or committed by illegal immigrants as examples of such circumstances.   Officers cannot enforce immigration law on their own.   Rather, any arrest of a foreign national must be for a local crime or in response to a previously filed federal warrant.   Officers are prohibited from taking part in federal immigration raids that target suspects based solely on their immigration status.   With the permission of their superior, officers may assist federal immigration agents if they are part of 'a task force or a joint criminal investigation' not focused solely on immigration violations...   Upholding the [federal] warrants [a.k.a. detainers] -- which are civil, not criminal -- has led to 53 county residents having deportation proceedings initiated against them this year, compared to 85 in all of last year and about 30 in 2006, said Arthur Wallenstein, director of the county's Department of Correction and Rehabilitation."


2008-07-24 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 414,249 in the week ending July 19, a decrease of 70,056 from the previous week.   There were 298,366 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending July 12, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,174,895, an increase of 56,111 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,588,709.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending July 5.   [This year's mid-summer peak in initial claims is the highest since 2003.]"

2008-07-24 09:14PDT (12:14EDT) (16:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Existing home sales off another 2.6% to 10-year low, 15.5% below 2005 peak

_Auto Channel_
Chrysler praised by NAACP and Black Enterprise

Joseph Bottum _First Things_
Mass Man: Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The [Red Chinese government], on their own admission, are unprepared to accept what Ortega called the cultural under-pinnings that created Western technology.   The Asian nations have shown little interest in individual freedoms, democratic institutions, the workings of European and American educational institutions, and the free exchange of ideas.   In the West, we cannot think of technological inventiveness without the cultural ideas that stand behind economic civilization."

Brenda Walker _V Dare_
Why Johnny Can't Accurately Report

Bob Barr _Spero News_
Climate activists undermine the US economy: The government must remove regulatory barriers, which limit the development of alternative as well as conventional energy sources
eMedia World
"it is essential that we preserve our prosperous, productive, and innovative economy.   Without a strong economic foundation, it will be impossible for our nation to deal with the many serious financial, social, and environmental problems facing the U.S.A."

Comparison of the Reported Federal Extortion Liabilities of Foreign- and U.S.-Controlled Corporations, 1998-2005
"FCDCs reported lower tax liabilities than USCCs by most measures shown in this report.   A greater percentage of large FCDCs reported no tax liability in a given year from 1998 through 2005.   For all corporations, a higher percentage of FCDCs reported no tax liabilities than USCCs through 2001 but differences after 2001 were not statistically significant.   Most large FCDCs and USCCs that reported no tax liability in 2005 also reported that they had no current-year income.   A smaller proportion of these corporations had losses from prior years and tax credits that eliminated any tax liability."

2008-07-24 (5768 Tamuz 21)
Rabbi Berel Wein _Jewish World Review_
On the road again... and again and again: It sure took a long time for the Jews of the Exodus to reach the Promised Land. It wasn't by accident
"there always is a next challenge in life.   Thus, the travels of our ancestors in the Sinai desert light the way for our journey in life as well.   The blessing of thanks-giving to G-d is one that should be remembered on a regular basis throughout our trip to our holy destination."

2008-07-24 (5768 Tamuz 21)
Richard Z. Chesnoff _Jewish World Review_
MidEast Refugees -- Failure vs. Success


Mary Dagg _Green Valley News_
Students opting out because the career prospects are poor
"'Fewer college students are pursuing computer-related degrees despite demand increasing as baby boomer IT workers retire.   Enrollment in under-graduate degree programs in computer science is more than 50% lower than it was 5 years ago, according to a survey of the Computing Research Association [CRA].' (Investors Business Daily, 2008 June 24, p. A2)
Similarly, there is consternation over the declining number of math, science, and engineering degrees issued to American students.
With corporate executives, campaign contribution checkbooks in hand, pushing the issue and Congress (including our own Gabrielle Giffords) falling all over itself to increase the number of H-1B visas and green cards by tens of thousands, no one should be surprised that students are opting out of those programs.
Why go through years of training and come out of college burdened with thousands of dollars of student loan debt, only to see the trained-for job handed over to a foreigner who will work cheaper (while imposing both reduced wages and a significant language barrier on his American co-workers) and who, incidentally, can bring his family with him to take additional American jobs for cheaper wages?
A student bright enough to get through any of the aforementioned programs is bright enough to figure the odds on his job prospects in those fields.
Greedy corporations [executives] often are aided and abetted by aggressive pro-immigrationists who offer seminars on how to 'prove' the unavailability of qualified Americans, but when one moderately-paid position posted by a large tech corporation draws more than 80 qualifying applications, and a similar job posting by a smaller company paying bare subsistence wages draws multiple applications, it should be obvious to even cash- and vote-hungry politicians that we do not need to expand the number of H-1B visas at the expense of American workers.
Similarly, when ICE staged a raid on a Midwestern meat-processing plant, more than 600 applicants vied for the jobs formerly filled by illegals.
Despite the clamoring of corporations eager to cash in on cheap foreign labor, there is an abundant supply of qualified Americans for almost any job that pays a decent wage.   Congress should be 'tuned-in' enough to be aware of that.

Manuel C. Coppola _Wick News Service_/_Green Valley News_/_Nogales International_
Low wall perpendicular to steel flood gate blamed by Mexico for local flooding
"The wall runs perpendicular to a steel flood gate in the Nogales Wash tunnel and caused water to back up during the July 12 storm, according to officials of the Mexico Section of the International Water and Boundary Commission.   Then, they allege, the pressure blew out a portion of the tunnel ceiling, flooding Calle Elias and Calle Internacional.   The resulting deluge was retained by a decorative border wall, and about 5 feet of water pooled in the area.   It damaged several buildings and vehicles.   Eventually, the water burst onto Morley Avenue in Nogales, where more than 50 stores were flooded.   The short wall was constructed in the tunnel by Border Patrol in February ostensibly to protect the flood-gate.   In a telephone interview, Assistant Chief Lloyd Easterling, of the BP's Washington, DC, office, explained that prior to the wall's construction, smugglers routinely cut, bent and lifted the floodgates with jacks to cross illegally into the United States.   The wall has helped protect the gate and stem the flow of drugs and persons entering the U.S. illegally."

Allan Fels & Fred Brenchley _Brisbane Times_
After Doha, let's encourage more cross-border bodyshopping
The Age
"Resources and services are now [Australia's] 2 biggest export categories, with services also accounting for 78% of GDP and 85% of employment...   In agricultural protection, governments are responding to domestic rural lobbies fighting against import competition.   But service [executives] across countries face common barriers and want similar outcomes -- regulatory practices [biased for their own personal benefit] at home and abroad and fewer investment and migration barriers."

2008-07-25 06:15PDT (09:15EDT) (13:15GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders up 0.8% in June

2008-07-25 07:09PDT (10:09EDT) (14:09GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
New-home sales fell to 530K
census bureau

2008-07-25 07:45PDT (10:45EDT) (14:45GMT)
Ruth Mantell _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index up from 56.6 earlier in July to 61.2

Gerry Dick _NorthWest Indiana Times_
Chrysler to dump 1K salaried employees by end of September, Delphi to dump 81 more
Tim Higgins: Detroit Free Press
Tim Higgins: Belleville IL News-Democrat
Dee-Ann Durbin: AP/USA Today

John Stossel & Frank Mastropolo _abc_
Age discrimination

David M. Dickson _Washington Times_
Red China's holdings of US financial instruments
"Four years ago, when the foreign-exchange reserves of [Red China] totaled about $450G and the value of [Red China's] holdings of U.S. securities was about $300G, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned about the emergence of a global 'balance of financial terror'...   Since Mr. Summers' 2004 March speech, the United States has racked up an additional $1.2T in budget deficits and about $3T in trade deficits, including more than $900G in merchandise trade deficits with [Red China] alone...   Not surprisingly, [Red China's] foreign-exchange reserves have soared, quadrupling from $450G in early 2004 to more than $1.8T today.   The International Monetary Fund [IMF] expects [Red China's] currency reserves will exceed $2.4T by next year.   [Red China's] holdings of U.S. securities have increased from $300G in 2004 March to more than $900G in 2007 June, the latest date for which data are available.   Given America's $250G trade deficit with [Red China] over the past year and the steady stream of money pouring into the country from abroad, economists believe [Red China] probably holds nearly $1.2T in U.S. securities today, mostly Treasuries and corporate bonds.   And that doesn't include the roughly $140G in U.S. securities held by Hong Kong...   [Red China] is by far the biggest foreign investor in asset-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Bob Barr _House Judiciary Committee_
Preserving Liberty through Checks and Balances, Federalism and the Separation of Powers (pdf)

Whitney Malkin _abc_/_AP_
Struggling College Students Turn to Food Banks as Food Prices Have Risen 5% to 30%
Buzz Flash

"BoonesGrandson" & "MC Kopfer" _Daily Paul_
JFK & Executive Order 11110 for the Federal Treasury to Resume Issuing Currency
1963: John F. Kennedy: Executive Orders

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_ #1895
More phony job ads -- this time from Hewlett Packard.
In this case, two technical positions were advertised on an IEEE publication.   The ads are facades used by HP to hire foreign workers and to provide legal cover if qualified Americans are available.
Applicants would normally have the expectation that their resumes will be received by an HR person or a hiring manager.   That's not the case here, but there is no way to tell by reading the ads.
Resumes were to be sent to an HP location in California, that much is true, but MS 4206 belongs to one of HP's immigration specialists.   This specialist, who is probably a paralegal, works closely with the immigration law firm of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP.
IEEE isn't the only web site that runs phony job ads for HP.   The ads shown below are being used as two examples, but similar ads appear in many other places.
The evidence linking this game of deceit by HP is presented as 4 items (scroll further to read them).   Unraveling connections such as this requires time consuming research and determination.   Thanks to Kim Berry of the Programmer's Guild for doing the arduous research to put the pieces of this puzzle together.
Be sure to see this Cisco job ad for another example.
Item #1.   HP job ads in IEEE magazine (pdf)
It's important to note the address to send resumes to: "Hewlett-Packard Company, 19483 Pruneridge Ave., MS 4206, Cupertino, CA 95014".
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY has an opportunity for the following position in Bridgewater, NJ.   Technology Consultant.   Exp. in dev. & designing in at least one of these: Database, ETL & Bi design & build in one or more of the following areas: bus. intellig., reporting, bus. perform. mgt. & data warehousing.   Exp. w/ at least one of the following tools: Ab Initio, Informatica, Datastage, Ascential, Bus. Objects, Cognos, or other info. mgt. tools & disciplines.   Employer will accept any suitable combination of edu., training or exp. Extensive travel req. to various unanticipated worksites.   Reqs. incl. Bachelors degree or foreign equiv. in CS, Eng., Elect. Eng. or related field of study & 5 yrs. of related exp.   Send resume & refer to job #BRIYE.   Please send resumes with job number to Hewlett-Packard Company, 19483 Pruneridge Ave., MS 4206, Cupertino, CA 95014.   No phone calls please.   Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.   EOE.
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY has an opportunity for the following position in Pleasanton, CA.   Support Engineer.   Reqs. exp. with Technical escalation mgmt, particularly with Engineering & QA; In-depth technical knowledge, the IM portfolio & the environments they are found in; Ability to create knowledge mgmt documents.   Proof of concepts and complex installations.   Knowledge of support processes, policies, systems & services.   Project mgmt skills; Broad technical knowledge on Linux & Java.   Afterhours/ pager support rotation.   Reqs. Incl. Bachelors degree or foreign equiv. In CIS, Engrng or related & 5 yrs. Exp.   Send resume & refer to Job # PLEMLO.   Please send resumes with job number to Hewlett-Packard Company, 19483 Pruneridge Ave., MS 4206, Cupertino, CA 95014.   No phone calls please.   Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.   EOE.
Item #2.   HP Labor Condition Application Data
The LCA data spread-sheet on the following web page is a rather typical ETA Department of Labor release, although the DoL no longer allows us to see the contact names.   The DoL redacted the names from their newest data-base citing privacy as the reason.   Unfortunately this means that connecting the dots by using newer data won't be possible.
The important piece of evidence is that several LCAs are signed by Susan Lampedecchio.   Here is one of those data items:
Hewlett Packard Company
Engineering Program Manager
1266 Kifer Road Sunnyvale CA 2004/10/01 Certified 74466 Roseville
Susan Lampedecchio
Immigration Specialist
Item #3.   Copy of an original HP Labor Condition Application
This LCA was originally posted on the HP web site.   Employers are required by law to make their LCAs public.   H-1B regulations specify that posting the information on web sites or a public place is an acceptable means of disclosure.   Go to this link to learn more details on public access files for LCAs.
Susan Lampedecchio's name appears once again, along with a mailing address of MS 4206.   Remember that address?   That's the address in Item #1 where the resumes are being mailed to.   So, resumes that are mailed to MS4206 are first reviewed by an immigration specialist instead of an HR person or a hiring manager.   Lampedecchio's job is probably to find reasons to reject resumes from qualified Americans.
Another name comes up on the form: Michael Boshnaick
Hewlett-Packard Company
19483 Pruneridge Avenue
Mail Stop #4206
Cupertino, CA 95014
First Name of Hiring or Other Designated Official
Last Name of Hiring or Other Designated Official
Hiring or Other Designated Official Title
Contact information
Contact First Name
Contact Last Name
Item #4.   Fragomen web page crediting Boshnaick as a partner
In Item #3 we saw the name Michael Boshnaick but there was nothing to indicate his job title or who he was.   Fortunately the law firm of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP reveals who he is!   Boshnaick is a full fledged partner of the law firm.
That platform is nothing if not a spring-board for the firm's colleagues -- all of whom say the sky's the limit at Fragomen.   "There are no roadblocks to success here", says new partner Carmita Alonso.   "Our career paths go as high as we can take them."   Indeed, diversity, from the paralegal level to partner level, is simply a part of Fragomen's cultural DNA -- and thus is something its work-force as a whole rarely, if ever, thinks about.   "It is such a non-issue here", says partner Michael Boshnaick, who didn't think twice about being the only male in an otherwise female partner class.   "I think what it boils down to is that a lot of other firms talk the talk, but we walk the walk."
* HP has an H-1B on the pay-roll who has been promised a green card.   An alternate explanation is that HP wants to hire someone in a foreign country and wants to bring him/her into the U.S. by using the EB green card program.   Either way, HP has no intention of hiring people that respond to the job ads.
* As required by law, HP posted a job ad to pretend that they looked for qualified Americans.
* Resumes were sent to Susan Lampedecchio, who worked closely with Michael Boshnaick (Fragomen partner) to reject applications from qualified Americans.   By this stage of the certification process the foreign worker has already been chosen or is already on the pay-roll, so no American that applies will get the job.   The game is so fixed they would probably even ignore a resume by another foreign national.

S&P 5001,257.76
10-year US T-Bond4.11%
crude oil$123.26/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).

  "Fools despise ethical instruction." --- Shlomo ha melech (Proverbs 1:7)  



Paul Rolly _Salt Lake Tribune_
Workers Compensation loop-hole makes it easy for employers to abuse illegal aliens
" The Utah Labor Commission held an emergency meeting recently for labor attorneys, without giving advance public notice, to implement new policies to comply with a law passed this year by the Legislature and sponsored by representative Mike Morley, R-Spanish Fork, a construction company owner. The law basically allows Workers Comp, or any other insurer that covers injured-worker benefits, to cancel disability payments to someone hurt on the job if it is shown that person has committed a crime, including being in the country illegally... there is no provision in the law to [penalize] the employer for hiring someone who is in the country illegally, and the injured worker denied the disability benefits cannot pay an attorney to represent him or her against the insurance company's actions, according to Labor Commission rules."

Annual Rates of Increase in Compensation (%)
Federal GS151.20%2.71%5.95%
All employees4.42%4.46%5.23%
Howard R. Bowen 1978 _Academic Compensation_ pp 30, 32-33
(quoted in Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pg 33)



Ed Frauenheim _CNET_/_CBS_
Programmers Guild: H-1B visas behind women's proportional decline in tech employment
"'Often employers force their U.S. workers to train their H-1B replacements, under threat of termination for cause and loss of benefits -- driving women and under-represented minorities out of the profession.', the report states...   a disproportionate number of H-1B workers are male.   The guild cited federal data from 2002, showing that women made up 24% of temporary workers and trainees admitted to the country...   The guild suggested that the ITAA's own report indicates the visas are undermining America's tech leadership...   'The ITAA report bolsters the guild's concern that the H-1B visa program is being used by our economic adversaries as a means of gaining tech skills in the U.S. and then returning to their home countries like India and [Red China] to lead major technology companies.', the guild said."

David M. Dickson _Washington Times_
Red China's economic bargaining chip: Massive holdings in USA

2008-07-27 15:01PDT (18:01EDT) (22:01GMT)
_World Net Daily_
2008 is the year to vote for "None of the Above"

Phyllis Korkki _NY Times_
Credit Squeeze Puts Dream of Starting a Business on the Back Burner
"According to the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, only 4.3% of the unemployed managers and executives who sought help from the firm started businesses in the second quarter.   That compared with 7.2% in the first quarter, and an average of 8.3% since the beginning of 2001.   The glory years for entrepreneurial types were from 1988 to 1991: that's when an average of 18% of the people surveyed by Challenger were able to start businesses.   Back then, unlike now, economic conditions converged to help a greater share of start-up dreams become reality."

  "People can convince themselves anything is good and holy if their personal agenda is strong enough." --- Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld "Are We Really Happy?"  



2008-07-28 10:53PDT (13:53EDT) (17:53GMT)
_MarketWatch_/_PR News Wire_
National Tax-Victims' Union released fiscal snap-shots of presidential & VP candidates
News Blaze
iStock Analyst

Phyllis Schlafly _Town Hall_
NEA Spells Out Its Policies
"NEA resolutions cover the water-front of all sorts of political issues that have nothing to do with improving education for school-children...   ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty...   The NEA fiercely opposes any competition for public schools, such as vouchers, tuition tax credits, parental option plans, or public support of any kind to non-public schools.   The NEA strongly opposes designating English as our official language even though such a designation is supported by more than 80% of Americans."

_Charleston WV Metro News_
Volunteers Gather Signatures to Get Candidates' Names on Ballot
"A total of 15,118 signatures are needed to be included on the ballot [in WV]...   As of Monday morning, supporters of Ralph Nader who is running with the Independent Party had submitted 24,377 signatures.   Of those, more than 11K had been determined valid as of Monday.   Supporters of Chuck Baldwin who is running with the Constitution Party had submitted more than 10K signatures and some 6,700 had been ruled valid as of Monday.   For the Libertarian Party, Bob Barr's supporters had, as of the start of the week, submitted more than 1K signatures and the validity had not yet been determined.   Bailey says she was expecting a lot more from that campaign before the end of the week."

2008-07-28 (5768 Tamuz 25)
Rabbi Doctor Asher Meir _Jewish World Review_
How and when a lie is appropriate
"Our tradition has a seemingly conflicted view of so-called 'white lies', which are meant to smooth over social situations.   (Lying to obtain undeserved personal benefit is considered fraud.)   In some passages, we find this practice to be sanctioned and even favored; in others it is barely tolerated.   Let us see if we can find a coherent message in these seemingly conflicting passages."

2008-07-28 (5768 Tamuz 25)
Steven Emerson _Jewish World Review_
More Perils of Inter-Faith Dialogue

  "Rather, use a different criterion to determine happiness: How happy are the practitioners of a given life-style themselves?   Who appears most happy and fulfilled in life?   Whose happiness does not fade -- but rather grows -- with age?   And further, which societies are most vibrant?   Which way of life carries on to the next generation?" --- Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld "Are We Really Happy?"  


2008-07-29: 14 weeks to federal elections of president and congress-critters

2008-07-28 18:46PDT (2008-07-28 21:46EDT) (2008-07-29 01:46GMT)
Jerome R. Corsi _World Net Daily_
Robert A. Pastor says SPP/North American Union is dead... for now
Free Market News
"'The new president will probably discard the SPP.', Pastor wrote in an article titled 'The Future of North America', published in the current July/August issue of the Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs...   Pastor attributes the failure of SPP to its largely bureaucratic nature and the decision policy makers made to keep SPP largely below the radar of public opinion...   it has come under attack from both ends of the political spectrum...   Pastor has argued consistently for a 'North American Community', as suggested by the title of his 2001 book entitled _Toward a North American Community_...   Despite the SPP setback, Pastor remains determined to advise a different approach to his continued goal of integrating the U.S.A., Mexico and Canada into a North American Community...   Pastor also encouraged creating a dozen university centers for North American studies 'to educate [brain-wash] a new generation of students to think North American'...   The North American Model Parliament is sponsored by the North American Forum on Integration, on which Pastor serves as a board member."

2008-07-28 19:57PDT (2008-07-28 22:57EDT) (2008-07-29 02:57GMT)
Irwin Kellner _MarketWatch_
'Tis the season
"People are in no mood to spend these days because they are hurting.   The cost of such necessities as food, energy and health care is soaring.   Meanwhile, stocks, jobs and home values are declining.   Savings accounts are depleted, while state and local taxes and transit fares are climbing.   To add insult to injury, the banks have become as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to lending money...   Any outlet that waits for September to start its fall promotions may well find that its customers are tapped out, having done their fall shopping elsewhere.   But savvy shoppers on the lookout for bargains will find the best buys upstairs.   That's where the summer clothes are stashed -- and most are now on sale!"

Doha round of WTO conspiracy to harm US citizens and Europeans fell apart... for now; Billions around the world cheer
"While farm import safeguards currently exist in rich and poor countries, they are rarely used and reflect only a minute portion of the billions of dollars in manufacturing, farm and services [losses] the WTO's Doha trade round was supposed to create."

_Simple Liberty_
The American Income Extortion

Paul Nachman _V Dare_
A Patriotic Immigration Reformer's Thoughts on _The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal_
"mass immigration, by itself, is the problem....   'The 5 employment-based [immigration] categories are commonly imagined to provide for immigration of the world's best and brightest -- Einstein immigration, if you will.   In fact, in addition to a handful of actual geniuses, the employment-based categories admit a wide variety of ordinary people who should not receive special immigration rights.   There's no reason any employer should be permitted to make an end run around our vast, mobile, continent-spanning labor force -- unless the prospective immigrant in question has unique, remarkable abilities and would make an enormous contribution to the productive capacity of the nation.'   However, today's legal inflow is dominated not by employment categories but by family-based immigration (i.e. entire families immigrating, headed by employment-based immigrants; plus family reunification), which has averaged above 600K people annually in recent years...   So here's my proposal: Restrict employment-based immigration to single people.   Not only would this cut the numbers, it would presumably help with assimilation.   Regarding the third type of legal immigration, refugees and asylees, read the book for the considerations that result in a recommended ceiling of 50K per year -- another number that I think is far too high...   He writes: 'People admitted on student visas should be limited to no more than 1% of total national enrollment, which would translate, generously to 150K' present at one time (compared to the estimated 565K here during the 2005-2006 school year).   And 'no more than a small share, say 5%, of any particular school's total enrollment should consist of foreign students'...   Student visas should only be issued for colleges granting bachelor's degrees or higher...   Because all college students, 'even at ostensibly private universities', receive huge subsidies from the American public, 'foreign students should be required to pay double the normal full tuition rate and should not be permitted to receive any form of financial aid from the college'."

_Portland Business Journal_
15K Oregon computer & electronics workers to lose employment due to trade with Red China

Ben Worthen _Wall Street Journal_
Tech budgets cut, hiring stopped

_Conference Board_
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Holds Steady
"The consumer confidence index rose from a June reading that was revised to 51.0 from a prior estimate of 50.4 to 51.9 in July.   Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a July reading of 50.0."

2008-07-29 (5768 Tamuz 26)
Rabbi Avi Shafran _Jewish World Review_
Good things happen

2008-07-29 (5768 Tamuz 26)
Thomas Sowell _Jewish World Review_
Randon Thoughts

2008-07-29 (5768 Tamuz 26)
Dick Morris & Eileen McGann _Jewish World Review_
How Israel's election contest could shift ours

2008-07-29 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (23:00GMT)
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
American workers get reprieve from WTO
Lou Dobbs: Well negotiations at the World Trade Organization over opening new global markets is the way they put it have collapsed. That should be good news for each and every American citizen, especially our workers. Those talks stalled just as the United States appeared to be about to cave in to the demands from of all places India, demands that would have allowed Indian workers to circumvent U.S. H-1B guest worker visa programs.
Bill Tucker has our story.
Bill Tucker: It was not a dispute over visas that stalled this latest round as India had threatened, but an impasse over agricultural issues.
Pascal Lamy, chairman of the WTO: This meeting has collapsed.

Bill Tucker: The fact that American negotiators won't disclose what was offered in the way of new guest worker visas has some observers outraged.
professor Ron Hira, Rochester Institute of Technology: I think it is pretty clear that this is all done under the cover of night. This is clearly immigration policy being made and, you know, I think it should scare all of us in a democracy that we don't even know what is being offered what is being bargained away.

Bill Tucker: The United States Trade Representatives Office has refused to comment on what that offer might have been. What it is feared is that this latest round of trade talks within the World Trade Organization, known as the Doha round is fundamentally changing the nature of what is negotiated at the trade table.
In return for access to foreign markets, negotiators are bargaining jobs. One critic whose group favors tightly controlled immigration says we should be wary of what is being done in the name of free trade.
Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies: What they're calling trade is really access to the job market. They're not looking to come in and provide a service for a brief period of time. They're looking for permanent access and the ability to bring in people for years at a time, to perform work that was formally being done by U.S. workers.

Bill Tucker: The collapse of this round of talks does not mean American workers can or should sleep easy.
Bill Tucker: Now these talks could resume as early as this fall, though it is more likely they won't resume until after we elect a new president. And when they do the issue of visas for foreign workers, Lou, will still be on that table and just tonight before we came up, before the show started, U.S. Trade Representative Schwab said all offers remain active and on the table.

  "Deeds are like money in the bank, while words are like checks.   When the currency has backing, when the words we utter have deeds to back them, then those words can have supreme value.   However, when even profound words are bounced about like bad checks then they can become hollow and cheap." --- Rabbi Label Lam "In Our Hands"  



_Conference Board_
Further Softening in On-Line Advertised Job Vacancies in July, The Conference Board Reports
"Like The Conference Board's long running Help-Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in 2008 July but will continue to be available for research), the new on-line series is not a direct measure of job vacancies."

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Barracks O'Bama and Woodrow Wilson on international relations

2008-07-30 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
_Business Wire_
Bluewolf CUIO survey reveals that 60% expect IT hiring to remain depressed in 2008: Bluewolf is a body shop

Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Hegemoney Everywhere but at Home
"In Los Angeles County, 5.1M people speak English; 3.9M speak Spanish. 40% of all workers in Los Angeles County are illegals working for cash.   Two-thirds of births in Los Angeles County are to [illegally present] Mexicans...   If the loss during the Bush regime of 3M US manufacturing jobs were attributed to terrorism, Americans would get riled up.   If the inability of American college graduates to find jobs in the technical and scientific areas in which they are educated was the consequence of a terrorist plot, outraged Americans would demand action.   If the erosion of US civil liberties were due to an Osama bin Laden plot, something would be done about it."

2008-07-30 (5768 Tamuz 27)
Jonathan Tobin _Jewish World Review_
Does Israel need tough love?: Latest push for pressure to sustain futile peace process has little to do with reality

_Third Party Watch_
Bob Barr fund-raising push aimed at ramping up campaign

Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Environmentalists' Hold on Congress
"The average individual American has little or no clout with Congress and can be safely ignored...   Unlike the average American, they are well organized, loaded with cash and well positioned to be a disobedient congressman's worse nightmare.   Their political and economic success has been a near disaster for our nation."


2008-07-31 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Scott Gibbons & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
un-employment insurance weekly claims report
current press release
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 375,627 in the week ending July 26, a decrease of 36,898 from the previous week.   There were 257,426 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4% during the week ending July 19, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,213,405, an increase of 48,639 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,463,232.   Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending July 12."

Jake Hooker _NY Times_
School employee in Szichuan ordered without trial to labor camp for posting images of earth-quake damage

Jason Lee Miller _Web Pro News_
Google spent $730K, Yahoo! $630K on lobbying in 2008Q2
Open Secrets

MSFT spent over $2.3M to bri... er, uh, lobby in 2008Q2

2nd American Revolution

Steven Greenhouse _NY Times_
Wider open borders have cut the legs out from under US workers
"In June, the Rockefeller Foundation and Time magazine sponsored a poll of [only] 2K Americans to gauge the extent of economic insecurity.   It found that 72% said Americans were less financially secure than 10 years ago [and 20 years ago and 30 years ago and 70 years ago and 80 years ago].   66% said they were not saving enough for retirement...   'We're the [perverted] foundation that funded the committee that developed [the Socialist Inecurity abomination]' in the 1930s for president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dr. Rodin said."

Peter S. Goodman _NY Times_
3.7M scaled back to part-time employment, millions more to being body shopped
"All told, people the government classifies as working part time involuntarily -- predominantly those who have lost hours or cannot find full-time work -- swelled to 5.3M last month, a jump of greater than 1M over the last year. These workers now amount to 3.7% of all those employed, up from 3% a year ago, and the highest level since 1995. [And he calls these unethical employers 'sophisticated'.]"

Kathleen Hennessey _Raw Story_
McCain & Obama media horse-race mentality poses danger for Ron Paul, Bob Barr & Chuck Baldwin supporters

Scott Saxton _WSAZ_
Bob Barr expected to exceed numbers of petition signatures required to get name on WV ballots
Third Party Watch

_Immigration WatchDog_
Alexander Sales Vista charged with $5M immigration fraud operation
Sonja Bjelland & David Olson: Press-Enterprise
ICE press release
"1K fraudulent documents... The scheme involved false businesses, fake pay stubs and forged documents for 555 applicants... H-1B visas...   Many of the applicants, who face deportation, were in the United States on tourist visas and worked professionally in their home countries.   Clients often came from the Middle East or the Philippines."
search on "Professional Staffing Services of America"
Another search
and another

Thomas E. Brewton _View from 1776_
Inflation and the Burgeoning Deficits and Debt
"Measured in gold, the price of oil is about the same per barrel as it was a decade ago.   To a lesser extent, the same is true of oil measured in Euros.   Our spectacular oil price increase for imported oil is to a very large degree the result of past over-expansion of the money supply by the Fed, with its inflationary effect."

Anthony Fuller
Candidates vs. Founding Fathers on immigration
Alexander Hamilton

S&P 5001,267.38
10-year US T-Bond3.98%
crude oil$124.08/barrel

I usually get this info from MarketWatch and the "Futures Movers" and "Metals Stocks" columns (and BigCharts and FT Interactive).

Average Annual Earnings 1930
College teaching$2792
School teaching (urban)$1392
Skilled labor$1700
Un-skilled labor$1080
Howard R. Bowen 1978 _Academic Compensation_ pp 30, 32-33
(quoted in Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pg 32)

  "By the end of the decade, the total compensation of CEOs in the largest 200 companies averaged almost $3M per year.   At least as many lawyers were pocketing more than $1M per year, & similar earnings for doctors were not unknown.   With pay-checks like these, it is not surprising that the number of millioinaires increased more rapidly than in any other decade in history -- from fewer than 600K to over 1.5M.   Deca-millionaires multiplied more than 3-fold as did centi-millionaires.   Billionaires -- still a rare breed -- rose from only a handful in 1980 to more than 50 at the end of the decade.   More arresting still, the number of people reporting an adjusted gross income of more than $1M per year rose from 642 in 1970 to 60,677 in 1990." --- Derek Bok 1993 _The Cost of Talent_ pg 2  


Proposed Bills 2008

Presidential candidate fund-raising, expenditures, and debt
  "The first object of my heart is my country.   In that is embarked my family, my fortune and my own existence. I have not one farthing of interest nor one fibre of attachment out of it, nor a single motive of preference of any one nation to another but in proportion as they are more or less friendly to us." --- Thomas Jefferson 1799 to Elbridge Gerry _The Writings of Thomas Jefferson_ memorial edition 10:78  

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